TPD: Mother, daughter carjacked at knifepoint

Posted at 11:54 AM, Dec 16, 2015

A woman getting ready to take her daughter to school was threatened by a man with a knife who then stole her car Wednesday morning, according to police.

Eileen Perez's 8-year-old daughter was in their car at the time. The carjacking happened in the 3000 block of Beach Street West.

As Perez arrived home Wednesday night from getting a new driver's license from the DMV, she was too emotional to talk on camera. But she did say the man who carjacked her is exactly the type of person who needs to be in jail. She also urged families to hug their children a little harder each day, because you never know when something tragic can happen.

The knife-wielding carjacker threatened Perez as she was standing by her green 2007 Hyundai Santa Fe.

Perez yelled for her daughter to get out of the car and the mother and daughter ran away.

"She was a brave little girl. It could have easily turned another way had she not been as brave as she was. it could've been different," Marquita Zaldivar said.

Zaldivar lives across the street and witnessed the carjacking suspect speeding off. She moved to the area a few months ago and said it has always been a "quiet place to live."

With the suspect on the run, she is being extra cautious but worries about her family.

"I have three kids," Zaldviar said. "You are not safe. It makes you feel like you are not safe. You can't come out and get in your car. You don't know who is lurking, who is around to take what you have, what you've worked for."

Tampa police are asking people to call in if they have info on the case, specifically if you spot a car matching the description.