Man charged for theft of car with children inside

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WELLSTON, MO. - A man is facing kidnapping charges Friday, a day after police said he stole a car with two children in the back seat.

Seth Ward, a 19-year-old Bel Ridge resident, is facing two counts of first-degree kidnapping, one count of unlawful use of a weapon and one count of tampering with a motor vehicle. He is being held on a $200,000, cash-only bond.

Ward was one of the men taken into custody after they were found in the car that was stolen with children in the backseat Thursday morning.

Police said the two men were found in the car in Wellston Thursday afternoon. The men were taken into custody without incident. The car's license plates had been removed.

The two children are safe after the car they were in was stolen Thursday morning.

Police say a 2-year-old boy and a 4-year-old girl were in the backseat of a white BMW when it was stolen from a gas station at Page and Hanley.

Miya Woolfolk told Five On Your Side she had run into the gas station to get breakfast for her children around 8 am. When she returned, the car, and her kids, were gone.

"The only thing I could do was scream and ask for help. and I threw everything on the ground and just began to panic and scream," said Woolfolk.

According to officers, Woolfolk left the car running while she went in to pay for gas and get breakfast. The suspect jumped in to the car and took off. Charging documents said Ward knew the children were in the car when he took it.

One of the children told police that Ward flashed the weapon at the children before stopping the car and leaving them on the side of the road. 

About 15 minutes after the initial theft, a person in University City called police to report seeing the two children wandering down the street, about a half-mile away from the theft.

"He could've dropped them off anywhere and they said they were walking down the street. A 2-year-old and a 4-year-old don't know how to cross the street. They could've walked into traffic and gotten hit," said Lucy Davis, the children's Grandmother.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.


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