San Ramon police are searching for a suspect in connection with an armed carjacking Tuesday in a Safeway parking lot. The late night incident is the city's second reported carjacking in a month.
The victim, a man from Concord, planned to meet the suspect outside the San Ramon Valley Boulevard store to buy some motorcyle parts. However, the suspect, who police say was a friend of an aquaintance, pointed a gun at him instead of producing the parts.
The suspect "produced a handgun, threatened the victim, pointed it at his chest and stole money, his wallet, iPhone and then stole the victim's vehicle and fled the location," said Lt. Denton Carlson with the San Ramon Police Department.
Shoppers in San Ramon said they felt nervous and unsafe Wednesday.
"I'm not surprised," Chris Fitzgerald said. "Criminals go where they think they can get away with it."
Connie Heim agreed.
"I'm disappointed, but obviously things are happening because we're close to the freeway," she said.
According to police, the suspect ditched a stolen Honda Civic at the scene and took off with the victim's white Chevy Malibu rental car. The Malibu had an OnStar navigation system, which helped police track the vehicle to Oakland. The suspect then disabled it, though, and gave police the slip.
"Anywhere today you've got to be aware, you've got to pay attention, you've got to do smart things," Heim said. "You don't meet someone at night when you don't know them."
On March 26, an armed suspect tried to flee with a victim’s car from outside a Safeway on Bollinger Canyon Road. Police caught that suspect within minutes, though, and recovered the car.
On Wednesday, investigators said it's best to meet at a police station if people plan on doing business with strangers.
"Most likely if someone is looking to commit a crime, they're not going to come if you're going to meet them at a police station," Carlson said.