An "opportunist" thief drove away in a car left momentarily unattended - with two children still inside.

An investigation is underway after the police were called to Bentry Road, Dagenham, at 7.55pm yesterday (Monday, November 21).

The car and the children were found safe and well a short time later in Joyners Road, Dagenham.

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It is believed the car was stolen while the driver parked and got out momentarily.

The incident is being treated as an opportunity rather than a targeted abduction attempt.

Barking and Dagenham Post:

Inspector Simon Biggs of the East Area Command Unit said: "I understand that this will be an incredibly alarming incident for local residents both in terms of the nature of the incident and the police response.

"We are all incredibly relieved that the children were found safe and well.

"All current indications suggest that this was not an attempt to abduct the children but an opportunist car theft.

"Our investigation is underway to identify those responsible."

Anyone with any information is asked to call police on 101 and quote CAD 6461/21NOV without delay.

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