VANCOUVER, Wash. (KOIN) — Alicia Gregory, a mother to a 12-year-old, admits that criminal activity, even to the extent of what reportedly happened on Monday morning, doesn’t really surprise her in her east Vancouver neighborhood.
“It’s a little bit rough at times,” Gregory said. “They found a dead body behind (the) Town Pump before, people walk through her yelling things, (there’s the) occasional drunk that falls and cracks (their) head open.”
Monday, according to Gregory, was the latest story to fall in that category.
Over a day after it happened, authorities are looking for a suspect after he allegedly held three people at gunpoint, stole two cars and forced one of the victims into a truck within several hours — prompting a robbery and kidnapping investigation.
Kim Kapp with the Vancouver Police Department said they’re not sure if there’s a risk to the public.
“This is a very unusual situation,” Kapp said. “Something certainly that we are actively investigating.”
The incident began early Monday morning around 2:18 a.m., when Vancouver police responded to a robbery and vehicle theft in the 3500 block of E 21st St.
The victim said he had just gotten home when he heard a knock at the door. The victim’s girlfriend answered, which is when the suspect came inside, pointed a gun at the couple and demanded money and the keys to their car.
The victims gave the suspect the keys to their white 1997 Volkswagen Passat and he drove away. Fortunately, neither of them were injured in the incident.
They described the suspect as a white/Hispanic man, 20-25 years old with brown hair and a medium build.
A short time later at 5:35 a.m., police received a report of a disturbance with a weapon in the 8000 block of NW Bacon Rd.
According to the victim, he was working as a security guard near the entrance of Vancouver Lake Park unlocking one of the gates when a vehicle pulled up behind him. The driver got out of the car and forced the victim into the passenger side of his security vehicle at gunpoint.
Then, the suspect drove the victim to a home where he forced him into the trunk.
Police said the victim was able to call 911 and managed to jump out of the trunk, not far from where police found him. He wasn’t injured.
No one was injured, which is fortunate, Kapp said, but both victims were “shooken up.”
“It’s certainly something scary,” Kapp said.
Vancouver police searched the area where the victim was found — causing several schools to be placed on lockdown.
As police continued to look, a resident reported that a vehicle crashed in front of their home on Creston and 43rd Street before the driver fled northeast on foot.
Responding officers determined the car involved was the stolen security vehicle. Authorities later found the stolen Volkswagen as well. However, the suspect is still at large.
Gregory said she has cameras because she’s really aware that her neighborhood can be rough. She said there’s a lot of activity in the area. Keith Jacobs also lives in the area. He, too, has seen a lot of foot traffic in the area, equating to a lot of crime.
“There’s always homeless people, (and) I’m not taking down about homeless people, but there’s a lot of unknown traffic.”
Because of that, Gregory insists Vancouver police should increase their patrols in the area.
“It makes me kind of scared,” she said.