Vehicle stolen outside Columbia gas station

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Pictured is one of the suspects in the theft of a vehicle from outside Red Roof Shell on Saturday morning.

Columbia police are investigating the theft of a vehicle Saturday morning from Red Roof Shell gas station on Southport Drive.

At about 8 a.m., a Columbia man parked his dark brown 2013 Ford Escape in front of the gas station and went inside with the vehicle still running and unlocked.

“From the surveillance tape at the business, it was determined two white males in a black 2005 Honda four-door car pulled up next to the Ford Escape,” Columbia Police Chief Jerry Paul said. “A white male passenger jumped out and drove off in the 2013 Ford Escape.”

The 2005 Honda was reported stolen in St. Louis County on Feb. 20, police said.

Both vehicles were last seen traveling toward St. Louis County at a high rate of speed.

Columbia police are seeking assistance from the public in identifying the person captured on surveillance video at the time of the vehicle theft. Anyone with information is asked to call 281-5151.

“Again, we encourage residents to not leave keys in vehicles, lock your vehicle and do not leave expensive items in plain view or secure in the trunk or take inside,” Paul said.

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