CLEARWATER, Fla. — Clearwater Police are looking for a man who they say carjacked a 62-year-old woman in a popular Clearwater shopping location.
Clearwater detectives say the carjacking happened at knifepoint at 5:16 p.m. at the PetSmart parking lot at Clearwater Mall, located at 2625 Gulf-to-Bay Blvd.
Detectives say the suspect first tried to carjack another woman at the nearby Costco parking lot but was not successful.
Moments later, they say the man pulled open the driver's door and yanked the 62-year-old woman from her car at knifepoint. She was not injured.
Officers say the man fled the area in the woman’s light blue 2008 Hyundai Accent. He later was seen on video using her stolen credit card at a Pinellas Park gas station.
He is described as a white male, between 20 and 30 years old, about 6 feet tall and 180 pounds. He has a blonde buzz cut and at the time of the carjacking, he was wearing blue jeans and a black t-shirt with white lettering on the back that read, "Local Crew."
ABC Action News spoke with the 62-year-old victim’s daughter who says she believes her mom pulled into the wrong space at the wrong time. She says her mom was just two spaces back from the front door of the PetSmart store.
The woman says the carjacker opened her mother’s vehicle door, with a knife in his left hand, and said “Just make this easy for me.” Her mother, she alledges, tried to hit the panic button on her key fob but couldn’t.
Her purse was in the car in the passenger seat containing her driver’s license, credit cards and other personal items.
The woman says “the thing this man stole more than anything from my mom was her sense of comfort and freedom.”
Clearwater Police detectives say they did recover the car late Tuesday night and are looking for clues that could connect them with the suspect including whether or not the carjacker left any of his own belongings inside of the Hyundai.
The victim’s daughter says while her mother is okay, she is still shaken up from the scary encounter. “You wouldn’t for any reason think this would happen in broad daylight in a well-lit and popular parking lot,” the daughter told ABC Action News reporter Sarah Hollenbeck.
The victim’s daughter also says she is very thankful for two witnesses who she says were “absolute angels” and came to her mom’s rescue shortly after the carjacking.
Detectives are still looking for the suspect, who was seen in surveillance video at the gas station and in a photo inside the victim’s car. Anyone with information on his identity should call Clearwater Police at 727-562-4242.