Police will speak to the parents of three young children left sleeping in a car with the keys inside before it was stolen from outside a west Auckland house last night.

The car had been left on James Laurie St, Henderson with the children, aged 6, 4 and 2 asleep in the back seat.

Police were called about 11.45pm and began a search of the area.

The vehicle was found at Parrs Park in neighbouring Glen Eden shortly after 1am with the children safely inside.

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They have since been reunited with their parents.

Police said the car was undergoing a forensic examination and fingerprinting.

"Police will be speaking to the parents of the children. No arrests have been made," the statement said.

It is the second such incident in recent months. In June, a car with a toddler and a baby in the back seat was stolen from a Dunedin petrol station.

Their father believed a friend had stayed with his children while he went into the service station.

The thief took the car for a 10km joyride at speeds up to 150km/h before he crashed on Dunedin's southern motorway.

The children, two boys aged 3 and 18 months, were found safe and well.

A 25-year-old Invercargill man is before the court over that incident.

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