Oakland Police Say Many Unknowns In Amber Alert Case
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OAKLAND (CBS SF) – An Oakland police spokeswoman said Wednesday that there are many unknowns about what was reported to be a carjacking and kidnapping at the Lincoln Square Shopping Center on Tuesday afternoon.
“There are a lot of unanswered questions that surround this case,” police spokeswoman Johnna Watson told reporters at a briefing at police headquarters Wednesday morning.
An Amber Alert was issued after the incident, which happened outside a Safeway store at 4100 Redwood Road shortly before 1 p.m. Tuesday. Witnesses told police that a knife-wielding man stole several items from the store and then carjacked a vehicle with another man and a teenager inside.
Watson said police are now seeking a person of interest in the case, 54-year-old Roy McCamey, whose last known address was in Oakland.
They identified him as a person of interest after investigators released images of the shoplifter captured by store cameras and witnesses came forward to report that the person looked like McCamey, who is known to frequent the area around the Safeway.
Watson said law enforcement agencies have had contact with McCamey in the past, and that he has a history of committing thefts, although he doesn’t have a history of any violent offenses.
McCamey is described as black, 5 feet 7 to 5 feet 8 inches tall, and weighing about 165 pounds.
The suspect in Tuesday’s incident was described as a black man in his 40s, about 5 feet 7 inches tall and weighing about 165 pounds, with salt-and-pepper hair. He was wearing a green shirt, a blue jacket, blue jeans and headphones, police said.
The victims in the incident were described by witnesses as an elderly black man and a black girl about 13 years old, according to police.
However, Watson said there have been no missing-persons reports for people matching those descriptions—a factor that she said “is certainly a concern for us and for investigators.”
Watson said that, although the absence of missing-persons reports could indicate that Tuesday’s incident wasn’t a kidnapping, police still need to take the reports seriously.
“There’s not enough information to say that it didn’t happen,” she said.
Watson said police have a responsibility to treat the incident as such a crime “until there’s information to lead us in a different direction.”
Witnesses told police that the suspect came out of the store, approached the victims’ car, which was traveling through the parking lot, opened a door and got inside, according to Watson.
Although witnesses overheard the suspect talking to the male victim, they thought it appeared that they didn’t know each other, police said.
However, she conceded, “It’s always possible that the suspect knows or has a relationship with the occupants of the car.”
Watson also said, “It’s possible that the victims are afraid to come forward because they don’t want to get into trouble.”
Police initially described the car as a red or burgundy 2001 Infiniti SUV with a license plate number of 6JFM648 but later said witnesses told them that the vehicle might actually be a burgundy or red sedan.
Watson said police have tracked down the owner of the car with that license plate number and he told them that he still owns the car, which is a 2001 Infiniti SUV, but that he now lives in another state and has a license plate from that state.
The man told police that he doesn’t know what happened to his old California license plates, according to Watson.
Witnesses remain confident that the license plate on the car involved in the alleged crime on Tuesday is 6JFM648, Watson said.
Police are offering a reward of up to $10,000 for information leading to an arrest in the case, and anyone with information is asked to call police at (510) 238-3326 or call 911.
TM and © Copyright 2014 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2014 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. Bay City News Service contributed to this report.