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Cops believe estranged father took 7 missing California kids

Five of the seven children missing from Fresno, Calif.
Five of the seven children missing from Fresno, Calif.Fresno Police Department

Police believe the seven children who vanished from their Fresno, Calif., home on Saturday were taken by their estranged father.

Ranging in age from 5 to 12, the kids were left at home while their mother and stepfather went to a grocery store, according to the Fresno Police Department.

Police believe that their biological father "picked up all of the children." He was identified as Xa Yang and is thought to live in Sacramento, about 170 miles north of Fresno.

Neither authorities nor the children's mother had been able to contact the father, who had not been involved in the children's lives "for at least three years," according to a police statement.

Because the seven children, along with their belongings, were removed from an apartment complex in the early evening without any

apparent commotion, investigators do not suspect foul play.

There was no immediate concern for the children's safety, police said.

While they have not issued an "Amber Alert," which are normally issued in suspected abductions, police are seeking the

public's help.

Anyone with information can call Detective Josh Mendizabal at (559) 621-2499 or (559) 621-7000.