EUGENE, Ore. -- The Eugene Police Department is investigating an attempted carjacking incident and an attempted kidnapping incident that occurred in the same general area on Satuday, within a two-hour period.
Police said the first incident happened at 9:21 p.m. at the Valley River Center, just west of the theater entrance.
They said 19-year-old woman was getting into her vehicle when a man approached her car, opened her driver’s side door, and demanded she give him the car.
Police said she was startled, so the suspect slapped her and demanded the car again. The woman then pushed him away and locked her car door. That's when police said the suspect walked off towards the bike path and Greenway Bike Bridge.
Officers searched the area with the help of a K9, but were unable to locate the suspect. They describe the suspect as a white man, possibly in his late teens, 5’10”, with a thin build, no facial hair, and hair that is longer on the top and shorter on the sides.
The second incident happened an hour and half later. Police said a 35-year-old woman was getting into her car at 10:42 p.m. at the Olive Garden, when a man approached her car, pulled the door open, and grabbed her arm and told her to get out of the car.
Police said the woman pushed back and was able to close the driver’s side door. She also noticed a second suspect, who seemed to be standing by as a look-out.
Police said the two suspects ran off toward the Toys R Us lot.
Officers and K9 also searched that area, but were unable find the suspects.
The first supsect in this incident is described as a white man, 20 to 25 years old, 5’9”, 160-170 pounds, with brown curly hair, dark eyes, fair skin, and no facial hair. The second suspect, thought to be the look-out, is described as a white man, 20 to 25 years old, 5’7”, and 150 pounds.
Police said if anyone has tips in these cases, they are asked to call (541) 682-5111.
Eugene Police also released the following tips on how to stay safe:
-Use the buddy system when walking after hours as there is greater safety in numbers.
-As soon as you get into your vehicle, lock the doors.
-If you are going to enjoy an night out, please don’t walk home by yourself. Get a taxi, ride or walk home with a friend.
-Be aware of your surroundings at all times and eliminate distractions or items that limit your ability to scan your environment (stay off your phone, and don’t wear headphones or earpieces).
-Don’t let strangers into your ‘space.’ Keep plenty of distance between yourself and people you don’t wish to approach you. If you feel you are in danger or being followed, call 911 immediately.
-If someone is making you feel uncomfortable, trust your instincts.
-Walk in lighted areas as much as possible and don’t walk too close to bushes, alleyways or other secluded places where attackers can conceal themselves.
-If you are victimized, remember not property or money is worth your wellbeing. Get away as soon as possible and call 911. Be observant as later you can provide a more detailed suspect description. If you don't have a phone on you, go to the nearest safe place to borrow a phone to call 911.