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Girl, 5, found safe at St. Louis Galleria after north county carjacking

5-year-old carjacking victim

ST. LOUIS COUNTY, Mo. - A five-year-old girl is safe after a carjacking Wednesday morning at a north St. Louis County gas station, but authorities said the suspect remains on the loose.

The chain of events started around 8:20 a.m. at the Conoco gas station, located in the 2400 block of Chambers Road, near the Moline Acres Police Department.

The child's aunt said she was pumping gas. Moments after she finished and was starting her vehicle, a man rushed up to her, fired a gun, and took her vehicle at gunpoint. The aunt said the man threw her out of the black Dodge Challenger and then took off in the car with the child still inside.

“I heard a gunshot and I looked back and saw a guy running up with a gun and he pointed it at me," the woman said. "He pulled me out of the car, I fell to the ground ... and as he pulled out, I heard my niece screaming!”

About an hour later, she was located by police at the St. Louis Galleria in Richmond Heights. She was unharmed. A citizen bystander saw the girl either get out of the car or be removed from the car in the parking lot. The person in the Challenger then drove off.

“People feel desperate out there, so we expect this," said Moline Acres Police Chief Gregory Moore. "You know, there has been a rash of carjackings around the St. Louis area and we're working diligently to get on top of it.”

The stolen vehicle is a black Dodge Challenger with 22" rims. It has an Illinois license plate number of R291207. The suspect is an African-American male, standing 5'9" tall, and in his early 20's. He was wearing a black hat, dark hoodie, red pants and white shoes.

If you have any information, please call 911.

The case is being investigated by Moline Acres police.