The Sherriff's Department says they couldn't initiate an Amber Alert even though the kids were taken on Tuesday night, until after they got the license plate wasn't until this morning.
The van in which the kids were abducted was actually owned by family acquaintance. The father didn't know the license plate number so that's why there was a little bit of a delay, but once that all got out, it was just a matter of a few hours that someone saw the alert and found the children.
The father and his six children left the alameda county sheriff's office together and headed home on Wednesday afternoon.
They were re-united after a couple spotted the children across from the San Leandro Laundromat where the couple was doing their laundry.
"So we happened to look across the parking lot on the side of Big Lots and he said 'there's the kids, there's the kids jumping in the van,' and I said oh my God and I went let's double-check the license plate number," said Epi Felise from San Leandro.
Felise saw the TV amber alert before leaving the house, and had written down the van description and license plate number. While her husband blocked-in the van with their car, she went next door to the check-cashing shop.
"And I told them could you please call 911 because from the Amber Alert. They said 'what happened' and I told them there was an Amber Alert this morning, and there's six kids missing and there's the van right there on the parking lot. He said are you sure that's the van, and I said yeah it's right there, I took all the information down," said Felise.
Police say the children's mother, Enja Moore, has visiting-rights only. During a visit on Tuesday night, the father came from the back of the house to the front to find his estranged wife, his children and his minivan gone.
The 33-year old had no credit cards and none of the insulin needed for her three diabetic children. She is also eight or nine months pregnant.
Alameda sheriffs say they don't know why she abducted the kids.
"No real indication here, until we interview her is all a little premature to speculate," said Sgt. J.D. Nelson from Alameda County Sheriff's Department.
"The father was grateful, he was very grateful. He thanked us personally, he was crying, and we said 'no problem' we would do it for anybody," said Felise.
The father told ABC7 News he can finally breathe again, since he couldn't breathe when his kids went missing. Investigators say the mother will be charged with child abduction and stealing the car and they are not sure if there will be additional charges.
All of the children were checked by paramedics when they were found this afternoon and they were all okay.