Detectives in Hillsborough County have issued an Amber alert after a Tampa couple allegedly kidnapped their own children after tying up the kids' grandmother and stealing her car.
According to deputies, the kids -- Chase and Cole Hakken -- were at their maternal grandmother's home on Shady Shores Drive, one day after an out-of-state judge permanently placed them in her custody.
Deputies say Joshua Hakken tied her up around 6:30 Wednesday morning, took the kids, and drove off in the her car, which was later found abandoned. Investigators believe Joshua's wife Sharyn is with them.
It took the grandmother several hours to free herself and call 911.
The state initially issued a missing child alert, then upgraded it to an Amber alert.
Because the children were with them at the time, Louisiana's Department of Children and Family Services granted temporary custody of the kids to their grandmother.
At some point after that, deputies say, Joshua Hakken showed up at the foster care facility waving a gun and beating on the front door. He fled the scene without his children when he could not get in.
Investigators aren't sure where Joshua, Sharyn, and the kids may be heading. Georgia authorities issued a "Levi's Call" -- that state's version of an Amber alert -- for people there to be on the lookout for the family.
(Read more from MyFoxAtlanta.com: http://www.myfoxatlanta.com/story/21874979/gbi-issues-levis-call-for)
Tuesday, a Louisiana court awarded full custody of the children to Sharyn Hakken's mother, apparently prompting the couple into action.
"We still have unanswered questions from the events in Louisiana prior to today's events here in Hillsborough County," a Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office release stated this afternoon. "We are working closely with the FBI and government officials in the state of Louisiana to attempt to obtain a better picture of the history of this family and the circumstances which lead to the removal of the children from their parent custody and ultimately the terminations of all parental rights."
Neighbors said they saw the police activity and never could have imagined this type of violent abduction happening in their community.
"Very shocking because you don't hear about things like this happening in the neighborhood or in the community. It's always something you see on the news in another state or somewhere else, not just a few doors down," said Ashley Roberts. "[I've been thinking about it] throughout the whole day, just that the children are returned safely and hopefully this turns out for the best for everybody and they're returned."
Deputies say they the couple should be considered armed and dangerous.
They may be in a 2006 Black GMC pickup with the Florida tag U95KT. A camper initially mentioned in the investigation is not involved, deputies said.
The boys are 2 and 4 years old. Chase is 3 feet tall and 33 pounds. He has brown hair and brown eyes. Cole is 3-foot-9 and 44 bounds. He also has brown hair and brown eyes.
Deputies say Joshua Hakken is officially wanted on the following counts: