A woman who sent police searching for three young children Saturday night has been arrested and charged with kidnapping.
Corpus Christi Police Department officials said 19-year-old Helen Alvarez reportedly took the children from the Walmart on the 4100 block of S. Staples St. without their mother's permission.
The children -- two 2-year-olds and a 4-year-old -- were with Alvarez, who was an acquaintance of their mother's, outside the store while the mother finished shopping, police said.
When the mother realized they were gone, police said, she searched the the store and then called police at 6:05 p.m.
The children had last been seen at about 5 p.m.
Upon contacting 911, police began canvassing the area and following up on sightings.
An officer spotted Alvarez and the children at Ennis Joslin Road and South Padre Island Drive at approximately 9:15 p.m.
They were taken to CCPD headquarters, where the children were reunited with their mother, and Alvarez was arrested and charged.
She currently is at the City Detention Center.