They said they were about to do some shopping at Freddie’s. Read how this outing turned tragic – and learn how you can avoid their fate …
Now quiet, a shopping trip ended up in an evening of tragedy, here in the west parking lot of the Gateway Fred Meyer store.
Story and photos by David F. Ashton
A simple trip to the Gateway Fred Meyer store for some grocery-shopping turned tragic, at about 9:15 p.m. on March 13, when thugs interrupted the evening.
After a bystander called 9-1-1 for help, Portland Police Bureau (PPB) East Precinct district officers rolled to the “back” parking lot – the one between the Freddie’s store at 1111 NE 102nd Avenue, and the Gateway MAX Station, to investigate.
“Officers arrived in the area and spoke to the victims – an adult male and an adult female,” said Public Information Officer Sgt. Pete Simpson.
The victims told police that they just parked their car in the west parking lot of Fred Meyer, facing Northeast 99th Avenue.
“The male victim, who was the driver, got out of the car and saw two men armed with handguns approach the car,” Simpson described.
“One suspect approached the driver and demanded his possessions. The victim gave the suspect his keys, phone, and an undisclosed amount of money.
“The second suspect approached the female passenger and pulled her out of the car,” Simpson continued.
Several folks in the area said they believed the suspects came into the area riding the MAX Light Rail train – and walked east from the station, around The Portland Clinic into the parking lot looking for easy prey.
Having a nice new car at their disposal, the crooks didn’t need to hop on the MAX line and ride away – instead they hijacked a car – leaving the couple without money, their cell phones, and vehicle.
“The suspects were last seen driving southbound on Northeast 99th Avenue,” said Simpson. “Neither victim was injured during the robbery.”
Simpson described the two suspects:
- A white male in his late 20s, 5’8″ tall, 235 pounds, short black hair, some facial hair, wearing dark clothes.
- A light-skinned African American male in his late 20s, 5’08”, 140-150 pounds, wearing dark clothes.
This photo illustrates the make and model of car hijacked from the unfortunate shoppers.
The vehicle is a black 2012 Honda Civic 2-Door, bearing Oregon license plate CU27516
“Anyone seeing the vehicle is advised not to approach it and to immediately call 9-1-1,” Simpson added. “Anyone with information about this robbery is asked to contact the Robbery Detail at (503) 823-0405.”
How to avoid being carjacked
A survey of public safety literature shows several ways to reduce being carjacked:
- Stay “up and out” – Many people don’t even realize that they are distracted by their radio, cell phone, or friends. Keep your eyes up, and your attention directed outside the vehicle.
- See who is lingering – Be watchful for people who are loitering, asking for directions, looking for money or cigarettes, or who just seem “out of place”.
- Be ready to “bug out” – If people approach, or the situation “feels wrong”, trust your instincts. Hop back in your vehicle and drive away quickly.
- Keep doors locked – The only time your vehicle’s doors should be unlocked, experts say, is when you’re entering or leaving it. Locked doors give you valuable time to make a quick getaway, if needed.
© 2013 David F. Ashton ~ East Portland News