Friday, April 18, 2014
YOLO COUNTY NEWS
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Victim of carjack attempt cautions others to ‘be aware’

By
From page A1 | January 08, 2014 | 6 Comments

The victim of Sunday night’s attempted carjacking in South Davis says he never expected to be the target of such a frightening crime.

“Be aware. This kind of thing can happen in Davis — it just did,” said the 37-year-old man, a lifelong Davis resident who asked to remain anonymous because the suspects remain at large. He said he is speaking out because, had it happened to someone else, “I would want to know it’s not as safe out there as you think it is.”

The incident occurred at about 5:50 p.m. Sunday in the parking lot of the KFC restaurant on Research Park Drive, where the victim had grabbed a quick dinner after watching Sunday’s San Francisco 49ers win over the Green Bay Packers.

Intending to go grocery shopping afterward, he ate his meal while sitting in his parked vehicle — a newer-model Range Rover — which he briefly left unattended while throwing out his trash at an adjacent gas station.

Afterward, “I go to put (the vehicle) in reverse, and a minivan pulls in behind me, perpendicular to me, and blocked me,” the man recalled in an interview Tuesday. “My first thought was, what is this idiot doing?”

He looked in his rearview mirror and saw the silver van occupied by two people — the driver and a passenger who was “fiddling around with something.” That person then got out of the van and flipped up the hood of his sweatshirt.

“At that point I thought, something bad’s about to happen,” the man said — a prediction confirmed when the suspect knocked on the Range Rover’s window, lifted up a revolver “and pointed it in my face.”

Faced with a decision to make, the man said he went with his gut instinct. With his vehicle still running and in reverse, “I floored it,” he said. The Range Rover hit the minivan with enough force to push it backward, giving him enough room to escape from the parking lot.

“I was just waiting for the gun to go off, but it never did,” the man said.

After leaving the parking lot, he headed from Richards Boulevard onto eastbound Interstate 80, where he called 911 after making sure the suspects weren’t following him. He then drove to the Davis police station to file a report.

Upon returning home — where, grateful to be alive, he hugged his fiancée and called his parents — the man researched carjacking avoidance measures. He said one of the safety tips he found advised never eating alone in your car.

“I’ll never do that again,” he vowed.

Davis police Lt. Glenn Glasgow, whose agency is still investigating the incident, said drivers should make a habit of parking in well-lit, highly populated areas, and “always be aware of your surroundings.”

As for the victim’s decision to flee the scene instead of relinquishing his vehicle, Glasgow said that’s a judgment call each person must make on their own.

“We want people to make decisions based on the safety they feel with their choice,” Glasgow said. “If he felt safe doing what he did, and he was successful, that’s great, but not all circumstances dictate taking that kind of evasive action.

“There may be other times where people may not feel safe enough to do so — they need to evaluate whether they’re going to comply with the suspect’s demands,” Glasgow added.

While he never got a good look at the minivan’s driver, the victim described his would-be carjacker as a Hispanic man in his early to mid-20s, standing 5-foot-9 to 5-foot-11 and weighing 179 to 190 pounds.

“I think I caught him by surprise,” the victim said of his narrow escape. He said he got a brief look at the suspect’s face as he backed up his vehicle, and “he looked shocked that I did that.”

Glasgow said the Police Department is contacting businesses surrounding the crime scene to find out whether the incident was captured on surveillance video. Meanwhile, anyone with information about the crime, or who may have witnessed it, is asked to call police at 530-747-5400.

— Reach Lauren Keene at lkeene@davisenterprise.net or 530-747-8048. Follow her on Twitter at @laurenkeene

LEAVE A COMMENT

Discussion | 6 comments

The Davis Enterprise does not necessarily condone the comments here, nor does it review every post. Read our full policy

  • enrique ochoaJanuary 07, 2014 - 3:34 pm

    DAVIS: NOT A SAFE PLACE ANYMORE

    Reply | Report abusive comment
  • Rich RifkinJanuary 07, 2014 - 10:40 pm

    The crime rate in Davis since 2004 has steadily gone down. The numbers I have seen only go back to 1999, but they were rising from 1999-2004, and they are now significantly lower than they were in 1999. .............. That said, Winters, Vacaville and Dixon all have much lower crime rates (adjusted to equal populations). Woodland's crime rate is slightly higher; and West Sacramento and Sacramento are twice as dangerous for crime as Davis is. .................. I don't have the numbers to prove this, but I would bet the crime rate in Davis was twice as high for violent crimes when I was a kid in the 1970s as it is now. Crime everywhere is much less of a problem than it used to be back then.

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  • January 08, 2014 - 8:17 pm

    5 homicides in two years or so- guy punched in face and killed by his friend on Picnic Day, J Street apartments one, 5 year old girl on Glide and the double homicide on Cowell Blvd. Burglaries through the roof. Crime is down? Sure.

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  • Rich RifkinJanuary 08, 2014 - 10:25 pm

    http://police.cityofdavis.org/Media/Police/Documents/PDF/Police/Annual-Reports/2012%20Annual%20Report.pdf Take a look at the latest numbers for yourself. The charts on pages 34 and 36 tell the story very well. Crime rates are down and falling.

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  • January 09, 2014 - 9:59 am

    The "numbers" are low because the Davis real estate game is BIG business, and who wants to move to a city where crime might be becoming as prevalent as in cities like Dixon, Fairfield or Sacramento yet real estate prices 3 or 4 times the price? Not trying to sound like a "conspiracy theorist" but it is true that sometimes, the police department and city of Davis in general want nothing more than to keep things under the radar. Davis is a "safe" city in comparison to others, but not as safe as we think, and people should definitely be aware. Kudos to the Davis Enterprise for covering the story and informing those of us who need reminders every now and then that something as frightening as being held up at gunpoint can and DOES happen in Davis.

    Reply | Report abusive comment
  • chris carey-floresJanuary 08, 2014 - 10:26 am

    Thank you to the victim for sharing these prevention ideas, and to Laura Keene for including DPD's, as well.

    Reply | Report abusive comment
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