A man accused of abandoning his children near Salado, then stealing the truck of man who stopped to help them is now in the Bell County Jail.

Police say 32-year-old Anthony Alfredo Chavez and his three children - ages 3, 4, and 7 - were en route to Dallas early Tuesday morning when a tire on their minivan went flat between Holland and Salado. Chavez reportedly left the children alone in the van for a time before they were discovered by a passing motorist who stopped and called 911.

A Bell County sheriff's deputy responding to the call had just put the children in his cruiser to keep them warm when Chavez allegedly reappeared and stole the truck of the good samaritan who called police. The deputy did not give chase out of concern for the safety of the children.

The truck was discovered wedged between two trees near FM 2268 around 8:30 AM. Chavez was found walking along the road around 11:30 AM and taken into custody.He's been charged with unauthorized use of a vehicle.

At a press conference Tuesday afternoon, Bell County Sheriff Eddy Lange said more charges may be pending.

The children are currently in the custody of Child Protective Services. Lange said a language barrier made it difficult to gather information from the children, but deputies were able to determine that Chavez and the children were headed to Dallas to find the mother of the children.