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South St. Louis carjacking victim sends community safety message

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ST. LOUIS – A south St. Louis was carjacked at gunpoint right in front of her home in the Shaw neighborhood.

According to a spokesman for the St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department, the crime happened Tuesday around 3 a.m. in the 4300 block of De Tonty Avenue in the Shaw Neighborhood.

The 29-year-old woman, who didn’t want to be named, said she he was coming home late from work and had parked in front of a fence with bushes on De Tonty.

She said that at first, it didn’t appear that there was anyone around, when suddenly she saw someone come out of the shrubbery.

She said that she immediately locked her doors, hoping that the person would go away, but then saw the suspect was wearing a ski mask and pointing a right at her window.

In a panic, the victim said she unlocked the doors and put her hands up.

“He flung the door open and I said, ‘Please don’t hurt me,’” she said. “And he was like, ‘Get out,’ and grabbed me and pulled me out of my car.”

The victim said she landed on her stomach on the curb, suffering some bruises and abrasions.

“As he was starting to move the car, I started running and another gentleman came from in between these buildings,” she said, pointing toward houses adjacent to her home.

The victim told police the suspects took off with her white 2017 Kia Soul with a red top, driving east on De Tonty.

“I know it’s such a superficial material thing and it doesn’t matter, but I love it so much. It’s so cute. I just got it in April,” she said.

South St. Louis is no stranger to such crimes.

In one instance, during a rash of carjackings back in November, a suspect used his gun to hit a woman in the face before he and his accomplice drove off with her car.

And on Thanksgiving Day, four armed men robbed and carjacked a mother and her son in the Southwest Garden Neighborhood.

Meanwhile, the crime involving the 29-year-old woman happened just blocks from the Missouri Botanical Garden, which sees a lot of visitors during its Garden Glow display.

That’s why the victim said she wants the community to be alert and cautious when checking surroundings.

“I guess I’m just a perpetual optimist, but don’t lose despair,” she said. “There are still good people out there and maybe if everybody is aware of the situation, that would perhaps deter those assailants and any future criminals from doing that sort of thing.”

Police continue to investigate.