Late night shopper deters armed attempt at carjacking
By Peggy Kelly
Santa Paula Police Department
Published: February 01, 2013
A late night shopper got more than he bargained for Saturday evening when he became the intended victim of a man who demanded the keys to his vehicle at knifepoint in a local market’s parking lot.
According to Santa Paula Police Senior Detective Ken Clark, the incident occurred January 26 at about 11:40 p.m. at the Santa Paula Shopping Center in the 500 block of West Harvard Boulevard. “As the person was coming out of Vons,” Clark said the man “saw another person walking towards him... he looked suspicious,” so the shopper turned and started to return to Vons.
“That’s when the suspect pulled out a knife and demanded the victim’s keys.” Clark said the victim refused to hand over the keys and the suspect got into the victim’s car, which had been unlocked. The victim “backed off and said he would call police,” a statement that caused the suspect to exit the car and flee on foot.
Clark said the suspect was described as a Hispanic male, 19-20 years old, 5 foot 8 inches and 140 pounds. He was wearing a blue, long-sleeved flannel shirt and blue jeans.
No one was injured during the incident.
Clark said the intended victim had parked “directly outside the front entrance to Vons,” which could have deterred the incident from becoming worse. He urged others to “remember to park in a well lit area closest to the door.”
“Preferably travel with groups of two or more, it’s safer especially when you’re shopping at night.... And if you’re uncomfortable about going out to your vehicle, ask that a store employee walk you to your car.”
Anyone with information is asked to contact the Santa Paula Police Department, 525-4474. If the caller would prefer to remain anonymous, they can call the SPPD recorded Tip Hotline, 933-4253-1-#.
Those with information can also call Ventura County Crime Stoppers at (800) 222-TIPS (8477). Ventura County Crime Stoppers can also be contacted by texting “Busted” plus your message to CRIMES (274637). Crime Stopper Tips can also be sent via the website, www.venturacountycrimestoppers.org.
Tipsters can be eligible to receive a $1,000 reward.