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Father shot while chasing man who tried to steal his car with child inside, police say

The father saw the man trying to take his car. While chasing the suspect, the suspect pulled out a gun and shot the father, St. Charles police said.

ST CHARLES, Mo. — A father in St. Charles was shot after he said a man was trying to steal his car with his son inside, police reported Friday morning.

Officers responded just after 6 a.m. to the 1000 block of Elmwood Drive, near Randolph. A man in his 30s said he was warming his car in the garage and his three-year-old son was inside the vehicle. The man told police his son asked for milk and a heavier blanket.

"The homeowner went inside to get the items and in that brief moment heard his car door shut," police wrote in an update Friday afternoon.

The father went back into the garage and said he saw a man on the passenger side of his car turn around and run away.

"The homeowner believed the suspect had his son and gave chase," St. Charles police said. "The suspect ran to a light-colored SUV that pulled up and as the suspect entered the passenger side of the SUV, he fired one shot toward the homeowner, striking him in the foot."

The father was taken to a hospital for treatment of the wound. He is expected to survive. The child was not injured.

The St. Charles Police Department is asking neighbors in the area who have home security video or details about the suspect or the potential vehicle involved to call the detective bureau at 636-949-3320.

St. Charles Police Chief Ray Juengst warned people about what is a seasonal crime opportunity - leaving the car running in the driveway or garage to warm it up.

"If this happens to you, don’t pursue them," said Juengst. "Be a good witness, and report the appearance of the suspect and the vehicle. These suspects we see doing this are typically armed. They have no regard for life and will fire those weapons to help escape the situation."

Juengst also had a message for opportunistic criminals.

"If you’re one of these suspects and you come to St. Charles to commit this type of crime, we will be relentless in our pursuit to identify you, apprehend you, and prosecute you to the full extent of the law."

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