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Man arrested after attempting to steal a vehicle with two children in it

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A man is in custody after a car with two children inside was nearly stolen Wednesday morning in west Rapid City.

According to Police Department spokesperson Brendyn Medina, the incident occurred about 7:30 a.m. in the Walgreens parking lot at the corner of Mountain View Road and Main Street.

Medina said a police officer was flagged down by a woman who wanted to report an attempted car theft. She told the officer she had parked at the parking lot and went in the store while leaving two children inside the car and the vehicle unlocked.

When she returned, she realized there was an unknown man attempting to get in the car. A confrontation between them occurred, Medina said, and the suspect began to back out of the parking lot in her vehicle.

The man hit the woman over with the car, then stopped and fled on foot. Medina said there were no serious injuries to the woman and the children were unharmed.

Officers spoke with several witnesses, who provided descriptions of the male suspect. Medina said officers were able to identify the suspect was and located two males for questioning. One of them was taken into custody and is facing grand theft auto charges and felony hit and run.

Medina was not able to identify the suspect as of Wednesday afternoon.

He said the situation could have been worse but also could have been prevented. Medina encouraged drivers to never leave vehicles running and unlocked and to never leave children unattended in vehicles.

"This is something we talk about all the time — the potential risks that exist when you leave a car unsecured, unattended and even running," he said. "This was someone trying to commit the crime of opportunity, and it's important we don't give these criminals this opportunity."

Contact Nathan Thompson at

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