A 17-year-old who allegedly took advantage of keys left in the ignition to drive away a car parked at a Capitol Hill dry cleaner's got more than he bargained for yesterday: two children.

One of the children, a 7-year-old, got out of the car before the alleged thief drove away.

A few blocks away, the youth put the 2-year-old girl out on the street, which succeeded in attracting the attention of nearby residents, who notified police. Officers arrested a suspect a short time later.

Police said Quanic Smith of the 1900 block of Valley Terrace SE was caring for her two young cousins when she stopped at a cleaner's in the 300 block of H Street NE, leaving the children in the car and the keys in the ignition.

The youth, minus the 7-year-old, drove away with the car and deposited the 2-year-old unharmed on the side of the street in the 1000 block of Seventh Street NE.

The car later was spotted by 5th District officers on Benning Road NE. Officers then chased the car to the 1300 block of Childress Street NE, where the suspect jumped out and ran away on foot.

The alleged thief, whose name was not released, was arrested nearby on Raum Street NE.