Local News

Elderly Woman Carjacked at Shopping Center

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DURHAM — Durham police say carjackers in the Bull City are striking more often -- and more violently. Now, police say they are even targeting the elderly in broad daylight.

Durham's Riverview Shopping Center is a busy place on a weekday afternoon. Thursday afternoon, the talk there was about a senior citizen carjacked there Wednesday.

Police say the victim of this carjacking started out about 3 p.m. Wednesday in a bank parking lot near the Riverview Shipping Center. They believe the carjacker watched her from another parking lot, and when she pulled into the grocery store parking lot, the carjacker moved in on the victim.

Police say the carjacker hit the woman in the head with a pistol, then drove away in her white 1997 Pontiac Grand Prix.

"Yeah, that's a pretty desperate act," said Cpl. Fran Borden of the Durham Police Department. "Three o'clock in the afternoon in a high-activity area -- you go up to a car with a gun and attack a senior citizen. Somebody had to see it."

While police wait for a tip, people who shop in the shopping center are worried about their safety.

"It does surprise me right in broad daylight here," said Grady Flowers, a resident of Durham. "I haven't run into any altercations here, but it's true there's a lot of carjacking going on over here."

Borden says there have been four carjackings over a period of the last 30 days.

"They are becoming more brazen," Borden said. "They're happening in the middle of the afternoon. Citizens need to be on guard at all times now."

Durham Police say that anyone who knows anything about the carjackings should contact police. For now, they have stepped up patrols in shopping center parking lots.