Three young men who asked a woman for spare change near Potomac Mills Mall yesterday morning ordered her out of her sport-utility vehicle at gunpoint and then drove off with it, Prince William County police said.

Police spokesman Dennis Mangan said one of the men approached a 50-year-old woman as she was getting into her burgundy 1998 Isuzu Rodeo in the Lowe's parking lot at Worth Avenue and the Prince William Parkway shortly before 8:15 a.m. Mangan said that the man asked the woman if she could spare some change, and then produced a handgun. He "walked up to her and asked her for change at first," Mangan said. "Then he started to yell at her and forced her out of the car.

"She was in the car and had just put the key in," Mangan said, adding that the woman described the attackers as teenagers. The woman was not harmed, he said.

Two other men then entered the car, and it sped off south along the Prince William Parkway, Mangan said.

Police are searching for the three and, as of last night, had not located them or the vehicle.

"This is very rare," Mangan said. "We're just lucky there weren't any kids in the car and that no one got hurt."