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Sheriff says armed criminal gangs are targeting unlocked vehicles

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JEFFERSON COUNTY, MO – A frightening encounter for a Jefferson County homeowner leads to a warning from the Sheriff.

Sheriff Dave Marshak says criminals are coming into Jefferson County looking to steal items from unlocked cars, and they are willing to shoot whoever gets in their way.

The latest scary scene unfolded about 1a.m. on Friday morning in the Summerfield Parkside Estates subdivision in Imperial just off Seckman Road.

41-year-old Terry Logan got an alert on his phone that someone was in his front yard.

He then saw someone trying car doors and actually getting into one of his family`s cars through an unlocked door.

Terry grabbed his handgun, went outside his home and confronted the suspected burglar.

Terry says the male ran behind a truck in his driveway then the suspected burglar fired three shots at Terry, two bullets hit the back of Terry`s truck and one actually went into the truck.

Fortunately, Terry wasn`t hit, his girlfriend and two children were sleeping inside at the time.

Security video from Terry`s home showed the altercation.

“It`s surreal to think that I could have lost my life in that driveway. But at the same time you know I am a conceal and carry participant. I do actively shoot and participate in carrying. And I think the personal protection of your home, your family, your life is very important,” said Terry Logan.

The suspect ran away after firing the shots.

Sheriff Marshak believes the suspected burglar is part of at least two or three organized groups of criminals stealing items from unlocked cars in Jefferson County subdivisions.

Marshak tells us more than 40 unlocked vehicles have been hit since July from these groups.

The Sheriff says investigations have revealed that the criminals are from north St. Louis city and north St. Louis county.

“What has historically been teenagers and drug addicts stealing from unlocked vehicles has escalated to armed, coordinated, planned cooperatives that have counter-surveillance and shown the willingness to shoot and attempt to murder homeowners that are simply wanting to protect their families and their property,” explained Marshak.

Terry added, “I`ve got a lot more than a pistol next to my bed now.”

The suspected burglar in the video can be heard calling out possibly to someone in a getaway car of some kind.

So far, no arrests have been made although Sheriff Marshak says his investigators do have people of interest that they are looking for.

Marshak is encouraging people to lock their vehicles to make themselves harder targets for criminals.

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