Metro-East News

Wood River Police searching for man who stole car with a 4-year-old inside

If you witness a crime, here’s what to do

Witnessing a crime and reporting it can be just as frightening as being the victim of a crime. Here’s what you should do if you witness illegal activity.
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Witnessing a crime and reporting it can be just as frightening as being the victim of a crime. Here’s what you should do if you witness illegal activity.

Wood River Police are searching for a man who hijacked a car Sunday evening with a 4-year-old child inside, only to abandon the car and child a short time later.

The child is reported safe, police said. The suspect is still being sought.

Officers responded to Moe’s Corner Gas, located at 851 Wood River Ave, on a report of a stolen vehicle. The unidentified victim told officers the suspect got into her running vehicle at the gas station and drove off with the child inside.

Police said a friend of the victim was watching the vehicle while she was in the store. The suspect exited the passenger side of a dark-colored car, possibly a brown Ford Taurus, then entered the victim’s car.

The witness tried to stop the suspect and in doing so was dragged by the car while the suspect drove away, but managed to scratch the suspect in the face.

The suspect stopped the vehicle in the 800 block of Wood River Avenue and fled on foot, leaving the child behind. The victim recovered her vehicle soon after. The 4-year-old and the witness were both uninjured, police said.

The suspect is described as a black male with short hair in his late teens or early 20s. He was wearing dark-colored pants and a tank top, according to police.

Wood River Police are searching the vehicle for evidence and working to enhance video of the incident captured by gas station security cameras.

Police are asking anyone with information to contact them at 618-251-3114 or to call local law enforcement.

The department also reminded drivers to never leave vehicles parked unattended while running.

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Kavahn Mansouri covers government accountability for the Belleville News-Democrat, holding officials and institutions accountable and tracking how taxpayer money is spent.
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