DPD Warns of Walgreens Parking Lot Kidnappings

Video from Jan. 20 shows the suspect (top left) getting into the victim's car.
Video from Jan. 20 shows the suspect (top left) getting into the victim's car. Dallas Police Department
For the second time in less than a month, a man hunted around a Walgreens parking lot on Ross Avenue, searching for an unlocked car. At about 2:30 p.m. Sunday, he found one and hopped in the back seat, just as a man had early in the morning of Jan. 2 at a Mockingbird Lane Walgreens.

During the first incident, when the car's owner returned from the pharmacy, the man in the back seat held a gun to his head, forcing the owner to drive to two ATMs and make cash withdrawals. Trips to two additional ATMs came up empty — the victim hit his daily withdrawal limit — before the kidnapper made the owner of the car drive to his home. Once there, the robber forced the victim out of his car and drove away.

Police in Wichita, Kansas, arrested a 17-year-old driving the victim's car after a short chase Monday night, but Deputy Chief Thomas Castro said the Dallas Police Department wasn't sure if the teenager was behind one or both of the kidnappings.

During the Jan. 20 incident, a man searched for unlocked cars in the Walgreens parking lot for more than 25 minutes before finding a hiding spot in a back seat. When his victim, a woman, returned to her car, he held a gun to her head and forced her to drive to and make withdrawals from two ATMs before before getting out of the car near the corner of Vanderbilt and Greenville avenues. 
Both victims identified their attacker as a Hispanic man but couldn't provide many other details. They said they were scared to turn around and get a good look at him. During the second incident, the kidnapper wore a hoodie drawn tightly around his face, so that only his nose and eyes were visible, Castro said. The 17-year-old in Kansas isn't being identified because of his age and Kansas law, but Castro said DPD detectives could head to the Sunflower State as early as Wednesday to interview him. He hasn't been charged with either of the kidnappings.

While DPD can't say definitively that the two crimes are linked or were committed by the same person, Castro said they followed a similar pattern. He encouraged people running errands to lock their doors and keep their wits about them.

"Lock your doors, be as safe as you can," Castro said. "Stay off your cellphone and pay attention."
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Stephen Young has written about Dallas news for the Observer since 2014. He's a Dallas native and a graduate of the University of North Texas.
Contact: Stephen Young