An armed robber stole a car and almost kidnapped a child in his haste, and Durham police are asking the public to help them find and arrest the man.
Police said the gunman came up to a woman and two children in the parking lot of a store on Presidential Drive a little before 2 p.m. Sunday and ordered them out of the vehicle,
The woman was putting purchases in the car, and her children were buckling their seat belts, police reported, when the man – described as black or Hispanic, in his early 20s, about 5-foot-7 and slender – pointed the gun at all three and ordered them to get out of their car while he slid into the driver’s seat.
A 5-year-old girl was not fast enough and got out of the car in time only because her mother grabbed her leg and pulled her out, police said.
A statement from police did not report the age or gender of the other child.
Officers found the woman’s car, a gray Nissan Altima, at Appling Way and Lumley Road later. It was running, but the gunman was gone, police said.
The incident happened in the parking lot of the Quality Mart at 2700 Presidential Drive, the police statement said.
Police asked anyone with information about the theft or the suspect to call Investigator Walsh at 919-560-4440, ext. 29248, or CrimeStoppers at 919-683-1200. CrimeStoppers pays cash rewards for information leading to arrests in felony cases, and callers never have to identify themselves.