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A 13-year-old Alabama girl was taken into custody Friday in Chattanooga after she allegedly stole a car Thursday in Powell and took her 3-year-old neighbor with her, the DeKalb County (Alabama) Sheriff's Office said in a statement.

Amber Alerts were issued and the deputies immediately began a search, agency spokesman Tyler Pruett said in the statement. 

Powell is a rural community about 15 miles northwest of Fort Payne.

The girl had run away twice before, once to Scottsboro, Alabama, and another time to the Chattanooga area, Pruett said.

After reported sightings in Chattanooga, DeKalb County investigators and drug officers and Chattanooga police found the 3-year-old around 10 p.m. Thursday at the intersection of Dodson Avenue and Windsor Street where the child had allegedly been left alone by the teen, Pruett said.

Early Friday, Chattanooga police found the 13-year-old and the stolen vehicle, Pruett said. Juvenile services in Tennessee and Alabama were notified of the incident. 

Pruett said the juvenile has been transferred from Tennessee to a juvenile facility in Alabama and no further information was available.

"Our guys did an outstanding job on this case and getting this child back to safety," DeKalb County Sheriff Nick Welden said in the statement.

"We're working with local juvenile authorities to ensure this situation does not happen again," Welden said, adding praise for Chattanooga police.

"The Chattanooga Police Department was also pivotal in resolving this case with neither of the juveniles injured," he said. "They had their whole shift for that area working on this case and helped our guys every step of the way."

Contact Ben Benton at bbenton@timesfreepress.com or 423-757-6569. Follow him on Twitter @BenBenton or at www.facebook.com/benbenton1.

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