Carjackers are targeting new victims every week in King County. One specific method is the latest trend -- suspects stage a fender bender and when the victim is out of the car, someone gets out a gun and takes the car by force.
A woman in SeaTac said four masked men tried to carjack her on Sunday using a different method.
The victim asked us to not share her real name for safety purposes but said her nickname is YaYa. She said she noticed two cars suddenly stopping in front of her in a way that seemed off, so she took a quick video.
Then things quickly escalated. The incident unfolded at South 196th Street and Des Moines Memorial Drive.
“Four masked men got out, one was holding a gun and he was waving the gun,” YaYa said.
She said she knew she needed to get away from the situation, so decided to floor it.
“I ducked down and I put it in first gear and I took off,” she said.
Then she said the man with the gun opened fire, firing a shot at her car.
“I was going very fast because I was hoping to see a police officer somewhere. They chased me for a good five or six miles,” Yaya said.
Now she is wondering if the suspects in her case are the same three to four masked men who police say tried to carjack two women in separate cases in West Seattle on Wednesday.
In the West Seattle cases, the suspects used the bump and carjack method – staging a fender bender before getting out a gun. It’s an alarming trend that started over the past month and is now impacting communities all over King County.
We confirmed at least 10 carjacking and attempted carjacking cases since August 17 using the “bump and carjack” method.
- August 17 - 31800 block of 50th Place South, unincorporated Kent
- August 18 - 26300 block of 180th Ave Southeast, unincorporated Covington
- August 27 - 10000 block of 2nd Ave South, unincorporated King County
- August 29 - 22000 block of Southeast 28th Street, Maple Valley (suspects crashed in Black Diamond, 1 died)
- August 29 – 49th Avenue South, Seattle Rainier Valley
- Sept 1 - Martin Luther King Jr. Way South and South Norfolk Street, Seattle Rainier Valley
- Sept 8 - Bel-Red Road and 156th Ave Southeast, Bellevue
- Sept 8 – Rainier Ave South Walmart, Renton
- Sept 19 – Southwest Spokane Street and Harbor Avenue Southwest, West Seattle
- Sept 19 – Harbor Avenue Southwest and California, West Seattle
YaYa’s case happened in SeaTac on September 17. And the King County Sheriff’s Office confirmed another carjacking case later that same day, also in SeaTac.
Renton police said if a fender bender doesn’t feel right, don’t get out of your car. Instead, you should call 911 and leave the scene, driving to a safe and well-lit area. Detective Robert Onishi said to let dispatch know why you’re leaving the scene, so if the other driver calls in, dispatch can help coordinate a meet-up or send an officer.
“Trust your instinct. We can figure out what’s normal and what’s not. What’s a bad situation and what’s a good situation. So trust that,” Onishi said.
Onishi said police agencies across jurisdictions are sharing intel to figure out if the various carjacking cases are linked.
YaYa drives a gray Ford Bronco and is asking people in the SeaTac area to check their surveillance cameras. If you have video of two vehicles tailing a gray Ford Bronco, let local police know.
“I work in this area, all my friends work in this area and I really want people to be cautious. I don’t want anyone to get hurt,” she said.
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