On Monday, Redmond police searched for an armed suspect on foot following four attempted carjackings in downtown. The suspect is still at large.
According to witness descriptions and surveillance photos obtained by the Redmond Police Department (RPD), the suspect is described as a light-skinned black male, in his mid to late 20s, slender build, between 5-feet-6-inches to 5-feet-9-inches tall, with a long thin face and large eyes. He has short black hair, about 1 inch in length. He was initially wearing a red sweatshirt with a hood, a dark shirt and dark black and gray shorts, with a white stripe. The suspect later discarded the red sweatshirt.
From late Monday morning to early afternoon, citizens were advised to stay inside as officers used a K-9 unit to track the suspect. By around 2:30 p.m., police ended their K-9 search and stated that it was OK for people to go outside, but that they should be aware. Citizens are being asked to call (425) 556-2500 and ask for Det. Bollerud if they have any information about the suspect.
The first attempted carjacking occurred at around 11:45 a.m. in the parking lot of Trader Joe’s at 15932 Redmond Way.
Becky Range, RPD public information officer, said a 74-year-old woman was approached by the suspect, who attempted to steal her car. The woman stomped on the suspect’s foot, pushed him down and drove off, calling the police once she arrived home — at 12:16 p.m.
When she reported the incident to police, Range said the victim told them, “It was not on my agenda to have my car stolen today.”
“He did not show a weapon at the time,” Range added about the suspect.
The following three carjacking attempts occurred in the parking garage of the nearby Red 160 building at 16015 Cleveland St.
Range said the suspect attempted to steal three vehicles from three women in the garage. In these incidents, she said the victims told police that the suspect was brandishing a black handgun.
According to an RPD press release, the first victim was in her car when she was approached by the suspect. She did not get out of the car. The release states that the next victim had just gotten out of her car when the suspect put a handgun in her face and stole her purse and cell phone. The third victim was in her car when the suspect pulled her out of her car and got in it, but did not drive off, according to the release.
Both the second and third victims then ran and called 911 immediately. Their description of the suspect matched the first victim’s description.
The surveillance photos RPD obtained are from the Red 160 parking garage. In addition, many local businesses have provided police with video footage, which they have reviewed in addition to eyewitness and victim reports again, along with the suspect sketch.
The carjacking attempts at Red 160 were unsuccessful and the suspect took off in a black Honda Civic, which he crashed near the Wendy’s restaurant at 15945 Redmond Way, Range said.
“We are very thankful there were no injuries,” she said about the crash as well as the attempted carjackings.
The Civic did not belong to any of the victims. Range said the license plates did not match the vehicle and once RPD ran the car’s VIN number they were able to confirm with the Seattle Police Department (SPD) that the car had been stolen in Seattle Sept. 17 — also carjacked at gunpoint. Since then, RPD has been working closely with SPD.
Range added that police are not sure where the Civic was located or if the suspect had parked it there ahead of time.
According to RPD, the Washington State Patrol Crime Laboratory is analyzing both the Civic and the red sweatshirt that was discarded.
Range said the suspect was spotted on a nearby trail as well as by the Qdoba Mexican Eats restaurant, which shares a parking lot with the Trader Joe’s.
Police conducted an extensive search, according to Range, and multiple agencies were involved in the search.
RPD also notified Lake Washington School District and area daycare facilities about the situation. Range said they worked with the district’s communications director for the former and that City Hall employees helped make calls for the latter.