CARLSBAD — A young woman had just entered her car after shopping at the Westfield Plaza Camino Real Mall on Dec. 18 when an armed gunman demanded the keys to her car and drove it away, according to the Carlsbad Police Department.
It was just after 9 p.m. when the suspect approached the victim and said he would shoot her if she didn’t give him the keys to the car.
The woman complied and said the gun she saw the suspect holding was a semi-automatic handgun, police said.
Police are still searching for the suspect, a black male approximately age 30.
The vehicle is described as a 2004 red Nissan 350Z, with a Michigan license plate BXN8034.
Police ask that anyone with any information on this carjacking should call 9-1-1, and not attempt to approach the suspect, as he is believed to be armed.
The following tips are from the Carlsbad Police Department to help citizens avoid becoming a victim of a crime during the holiday season.
— Go to stores and areas that you are familiar with and where you feel safe
— Shop with a friend
— Don’t be distracted with your list of things to do — plan ahead
— Be cautious about your purse, wallet and receipts and never leave them unattended
— Lock your car. If returning to your car after dark, consider the lighting and nearby bushes, and be aware of other vehicles parked nearby
— Don’t overload yourself with packages
— If you put packages in your car and plan to continue shopping, move your car
— Don’t leave valuables within view in your car, especially iPods, navigators, satellite radios, or personal items like purses and wallets, which, if stolen, could result in identity theft
— Be alert to who is around you and what is going on. If you do not like what you see, or feel uncomfortable, go back the way you came or take a different route
— Ask security or a store clerk for help carrying packages to your car, or ask mall security for an escort to your car
— Be careful about what you display in your front window. A beautiful tree with lots of presents creates an opportunity for crime. Also be careful about putting out trash that has boxes in it from expensive items
— Shut and lock all your doors and windows when leaving for holiday gatherings or even a quick trip to the store.
— Place inside and outside lights on timers or light sensors. A house sitting dark in the evening tells criminals that no one is home
— Engrave holiday gifts such as electronic equipment, and tools with your California Driver license number. It is easier for authorities to return items to the owner, if stolen. Videotape items that are hard to engrave, such as jewelry
— Take the time to secure your house, garage and car—don’t let the holiday rush distract you
— Evaluate the physical security of your home and for any advise call the police department crime prevention unit at (760) 931-2105