Tense moments in a Kitchener neighbourhood on Thursday.

Waterloo Regional Police surrounded a home for hours, believing a car thief was inside.

Police responded to reports of a stolen car. Their search took them to 24 Copper Leaf Street.

23-year-old Nikola Popic lives at that address. He's suspected of stealing the car, and he's also wanted for being lawfully at large. That means he had a temporary pass out of a jail or other institution, but he didn't return.

Police found the stolen car at Popic's home and they thought he was inside.

It took three hours to get a search warrant, leaving residents nervous.

"I pulled out to work and there were actually eight cruisers around here…I actually froze. I didn't know if I had to go to work or stay home or stick around. I didn't know what was going on" says Carlos Pereira.

Alana Holtom with Waterloo Regional Police say the search hasn't come up with any results.

"Our officers surrounded the home and with the assistance of our emergency response unit, entered the home with the belief he would be inside and wasn't home at the time."

The suspect, Nikola Popic remains at large.

Police are asking anyone with information or who may have seen Popic to give police a call.