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Thief steals Jeep with toddler inside; child safe

Thief steals Jeep with toddler inside; child safe

November 16th, 2012 in News

IMPERIAL (AP) - An eastern Missouri toddler is unharmed and with her family after a thief stole a Jeep with her inside.

A 25-year-old woman left her vehicle's engine running - with her 19-month-old daughter in a car seat - while she ran inside an Imperial service station on Wednesday afternoon.

When she came out the Jeep and the girl were gone.

The child was recovered a short time later by Al Schmidt, who told police he was coming home from deer hunting when he saw a man in front of his house about a mile from the gas station.

Schmidt said the man appeared flustered and told him he had found the child along the road. The man took the child and the car seat out of the Jeep and placed them in Schmidt's driveway. He said he had to go.

The toddler was unharmed.

Hours later, a Jefferson County deputy spotted the stolen Jeep along Missouri 141 near Fenton. The suspect was arrested after a short chase and is expected to face multiple charges that could include kidnapping.

The mother may also face charges for leaving the child unattended.