Police say a crowd took the law into their own hands, beat to death a man who stole a car with kids inside

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(CNN)– In an apparent act of mob justice, a man was beaten to death after he tried to steal a car with three children inside, Philadelphia police said.

Erik Hood,54, drove off with the car while the children’s mother and father were in a store Thursday night, police said.

The parents chased down the vehicle on foot and pulled the carjacker out of the car when he got caught in traffic, police said.

Hood assaulted the father and fled, but a large crowd stopped Hood and beat him, police said.

He was pronounced dead at Temple University Hospital, police said.

“I’m not a fan of street justice,” Philadelphia Police Capt. Jason Smith said at a press conference Friday. “I think everything should play out through us as it comes to criminal actions.”

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