COLUMBIA — Columbia police are looking for three men who are suspected of stealing of van from a woman and her young children in the Activity and Recreation Center parking lot Tuesday night.
According to a Columbia Police Department release, a 54-year-old woman and her 5-year-old son and 6-year-old daughter were getting out of their van at 6:30 p.m. in the ARC parking lot when three men, one with a weapon, approached them and demanded the keys to the vehicle. The suspects then stole the vehicle, described as a 1998 dark green four-door Isuzu Oasis van, and left through the south side exit/entrance, the release said.
Shortly thereafter at 6:55 p.m., police received another call reporting suspicious behavior in the parking lot of Hyvee, 3100 W. Broadway The caller told police that she was sitting in her car when two men wearing dark-colored hooded sweatshirts approached the vehicle. The caller said she locked the doors when she saw them approaching, but that the men went to both sides of the vehicle and the man on the driver’s side attempted to open the door. The woman then yelled at the men, and they ran to a dark-colored van, the release said.
Police said they think these are the same people suspected of stealing the van from the ARC parking lot.
“There’s a good possibility it was the same vehicle and suspects,” said Sgt. Lloyd Simons of the Columbia Police Department.
Police are looking for three men in their late teens, all last seen wearing dark-colored, baggy hooded sweatshirts.
Anyone with any information is asked to call CrimeStopppers at 875-8477.