HENRICO, VA (WWBT) - Henrico police say a person was robbed at gunpoint and then carjacked after asking for directions.
The victim reported the crime Monday around 11:15 p.m. in the 3100 block of Williamsburg Road.
“I think it’s just the younger generation,” said Brandy Leavell, of Henrico. “People don’t care anymore and it’s very unfortunate especially because our older generation doesn’t use GPS or the tools that we commonly do use.”
The victim reported pulling into a gas station and asking the eventual suspect for directions as they both entered the store. The suspect did not offer assistance.
After exiting the store, the victim said the suspect pulled a gun and stole their vehicle. The suspect was last seen heading east on Williamsburg Road.
The crime has Leavell focused on her safety.
"I always go protected, either with a weapon or pepper spray,” she said. “My daughter knows she's not allowed to go anywhere without a group with her." Leavell added this isn’t the first time a situation has unfolded at that gas station.
"I try to stick on the other side of the road where there are less altercations," she said.
Henrico Police say they’ve responded 16 times to this specific gas station for several incidents including seven accidents, a stolen car, two larcenies, and now a carjacking.
Images of the suspect and the stolen vehicle were captured by surveillance cameras.
The suspect is described as a black male in his 30′s 5’8” to 5’10” with dreadlocks. He was wearing a black army coat with a hood and jeans.
The vehicle is described as a silver 2013 Dodge Avenger with Virginia license plate VXV-8256. It has black stripes and a “wing.”
NBC12 safety expert Mike Jones said with these kinds of crimes “situational awareness” is key.
“Pull into a lit place,” he added. “Make sure there’s a clerk at the cash register before you even get out of the car.”
Jones said when you get out of the car, make sure you lock it and get inside rapidly.
Before leaving the store again, make sure you look at your vehicle to see if there’s anyone standing near it – pay attention to your surroundings.
“If you have a clicker for your car, don’t unlock it until you get within five feet of the car,” Jones said.
“Get inside the car, lock the door, start it up and throw it in reverse.”
Jones said one of the biggest concerns in these situations is an abduction.
“If a suspect is armed and making demands, give them your keys and run, don’t fight back,” Jones said.
However, in the case of an abduction he urges you to fight back against the suspect.
Anyone with information is asked to call Henrico police at (804) 501-5000 or Crime Stoppers at (804) 780-1000.