OAKLAND (CBS SF) – A teenage girl and an older man are believed to have been kidnapped after a shoplifting incident turned into a carjacking at an Oakland Safeway Tuesday afternoon. The California Highway Patrol issued an Amber Alert following the carjacking and abduction.
The store manager said the suspect was seen trying to stuff three frozen lobsters and a pack of rib-eye steaks down his pants when he was caught in the act, and fled the store at 4100 Redwood Road, in the Lincoln Square Shopping Center near Highway 13, around 12:50 p.m.
Outside, witnesses reported seeing a man with a knife get into an SUV, forcing the elderly man behind the wheel to pull away. A girl, believed to be about 13 years old, was also inside, Oakland police spokeswoman Officer Johnna Watson said.
Police initially linked the license plate to a red or burgundy 2001 Infiniti SUV with a California license plate number of 6JFM648, but the FBI and East Coast law enforcement found the registered owner of that vehicle and determined that it did not have its plates, Watson said.
The plates are likely on a red or burgundy sedan and police are looking for that car with a focus on finding a car with a California license plate 6JFM648, Watson said. She said police have not determined whether that car or the plates were stolen.
Anyone who sees the car should call 911 immediately, police said.
“We don’t want anyone approaching this vehicle,” Watson said. “We have information that the suspect is armed with a knife, so we want to approach this vehicle very cautiously.”
The suspect is described as a black man in his 40s, about 5 feet 7 inches tall, with salt-and-pepper hair. He weighs about 165 pounds and was wearing a green shirt, a blue jacket, blue jeans and headphones, police said.
Just before the carjacking, the suspect was inside the Safeway and was apparently trying to steal something, Watson said.
He then fled the store and approached the SUV with the knife, she said. Police don’t yet know whether he stole anything from the Safeway.
Watson said multiple customers and employees witnessed the theft attempt, and others outside saw the carjacking.
The Safeway manager said the store doesn’t usually stock such expensive and theft-prone food items, but they had added the surf-and-turf ingredients as a special for Valentine’s Day.
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