Violent carjackers, who have been terrorizing people living in or near Lakewood, have struck again, for the eighth time in a few short months.
The latest attack happened near W.117th St. and Detroit Ave., but across the border in Cleveland.
“They absolutely were waiting and watching,” said the 26-year-old victim, who asked not to be identified.
It happened as he and his girlfriend were going to My Friends Restaurant on Detroit Rd around 10:30 p.m. Friday night.
The man had just parked the car and was walking toward the diner when a young male suspect came out of nowhere.
“As soon as I parked, there was a guy at my face, grabs my coat, points gun at my hip and says, 'toss me your keys,'" said the victim. “I was stunned, a little shocked at first and he said, 'toss me your ‘effing’ keys.'"
The man handed over his keys and then two more young men came out of hiding and all three suspects fled in the victims’ 2017 black 4-door Volkswagen Jetta.
A similar carjacking happened around the same time of night on March 8 at the Panda Wok restaurant at 1512 W.117th Street.
People have also been targeted at the Aldi’s grocery store on W. 117th Street, the Marc’s on Detroit Ave Town Center Shopping Center and Fry Overlook Apartment building on Clifton Road.
“Seems like an epidemic as of late,” said the most recent victim.
In early March, Mayor Michael Summers announced an action plan to protect citizens.
He said the city was increasing police patrols, and adding street cameras.
They’re also teaming up with the Cuyahoga County Sheriff’s Department and neighboring cities including Cleveland.
“We take this very seriously and we are doing everything we know to engage the full force of the region which is what it’s going to take to solve this particular issue,” said Mayor Summers.
Anyone with information about the stolen 2017 Jetta with Pennsylvania license plates or any of the carjackings is asked to call Lakewood police at 216-521-6773.