Newark police say the woman was inside her parked vehicle at around 7:50 p.m. Thursday when she was forced out of it and a suspect sped off with her 3-year-old and 11-month-old in the back seat.
The incident began at Springfield Avenue and South 17th Street in the city's west ward.
An Essex County sheriff found the SUV a short time later with the children unharmed.
The mom was holding onto to her children tightly after the horrifying ordeal.
Police were aided in the investigation by a neighbor who didn't want to be identified, who took the terrified children into his home.
"Kids was crying," he said. "I didn't even know what was going on, but I saw kids out there, so that was my only concern was them kids."
Police are working to identify the suspect. The children were taken to University Hospital as a precaution.
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