RENTON, BELLEVUE, SEATTLE, Wash. — Police in Renton, Bellevue, and Seattle all are reporting carjackings — or attempted ones — that have occurred after staged minor crashes.
In the incidents, the victim driver is usually rear-ended. When the victim gets out to check for damage, they are confronted by suspects who then steal their car at gunpoint.
The latest incident happened in Renton on Friday when a driver coming out of a Walmart parking lot was rear-ended by a car. The occupants of the car then got out and carjacked the victim’s vehicle at gunpoint.
In Bellevue, police are warning the public that similar incidents have been happening there.
Also on Friday, a man in Bellevue said he was involved in a minor collision with two men in a white Kia, who then got out of their car, pointed handguns at him, and demanded his car keys.
Mark Tarantino, Major with the Bellevue Police Department said the man didn’t give up his car keys and the suspects fled in their original car. However, he said people should not force the issue and should give armed carjackers whatever they’re looking for.
“We obviously don’t want people to take matters into their own hands. They’re not trained for that we don’t want to see people get hurt,” he said. “Take the safe route and let them have what they’re after.”
He added if someone feels uneasy about a collision, they should go to a well-lit area.
“Go to a well-lit area maybe somewhere they know there might be cameras out. If they’re feeling at all unease they can call 911 and have an officer respond or they can start driving to the police station and we can help facilitate an information exchange if they’re worried about it at all,” Tarantino said.
In South Seattle, police said there were incidents on Aug. 29 and Sept. 1, when victims’ cars were rear-ended and then stolen at gunpoint.
Both happened in the Rainier Valley.
In the August incident, a woman turning onto 49th Avenue South was hit from behind. When she stopped to talk with the other driver, two men got out of their car and pointed guns at her.
One of the suspects then got into her car and drove away. The second suspect followed in the car used to hit her vehicle.
On Sept. 1, police received a similar call about a carjacking near the intersection of Martin Luther King Junior Way South and South Norfolk Street.
In that case, the victims — a 21-year-old man and a 47-year-old man — said their car was suddenly rear-ended. As they got out to check the damage, three armed suspects exited their car, robbed the victims, and stole their vehicle.
Both vehicles were last seen heading south on Martin Luther King Junior Way South.
Police say the suspects may be in their 20s, with thin builds. They were both wearing masks and hooded sweatshirts.
In both carjackings, the suspects’ vehicle was a dark sedan-type car.
With the increase of staged car crashes in the region, Renton Police released these safety tips.
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