‘Give me your car or I’ll shoot you’: Victim speaks out after recent string of carjackings in Little Italy

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CLEVELAND, Ohio (WJW) – Cleveland Police say a 14-year-old boy has been arrested in connection with a Dec. 27 carjacking in the city’s Little Italy neighborhood that ended with the shooting of a 22-year-old woman. 

The victim told police that she did not believe the carjacker’s gun was real and was shot when she tried to grab her keys back from the gunman. 

She was hit two times and is now recovering from the gunshot wounds. 

The crime is one of four carjackings targeting young women in Little Italy between Dec. 19 and Dec. 27, and it has prompted an increased police presence on Murray Hill. 

One of the victims spoke with FOX 8 News and told us that she was getting out of her car on Random Road around 11:15pm on Christmas night when she was confronted by a young man wearing a mask and armed with a gun that had a green laser sight on it.

“He just came up and said ‘Give me your car or I’ll shoot you,’ I was like ‘whoa, you can have my car,'” the 27-year-old woman said.  

The victim says she was afraid that the gunman would shoot her, so she gave him her keys.

“I’d recommend that to anyone else too, so that you don’t get shot,” she said.

It turns out that the carjacker could not start the victim’s car, which has a “push to start” ignition. Instead of giving up, he stormed into her house and demanded that she show him how to start the car.

When asked what she was thinking when the man returned, the victim said, “I was thinking that he was going to kill me.”

The victim says she explained to the carjacker how to start her car, and he drove away.

The next night, a Cleveland Heights police officer spotted the victim’s car and chased the suspect after he refused to pull over.

The suspected carjacker and three passengers bailed out of the car, but Cleveland Heights police, with the help of the East Cleveland K9 unit, tracked down three of the suspects.

The teens taken into custody were a 15-year-old boy, a 17-year-old boy and a 16-year-old girl. The 15-year-old was turned over to Cleveland Police, and the other two juveniles were released to their parents because the Cuyahoga County Juvenile Detention Center would not take them.  

Detectives are now trying to determine if the suspect arrested on Wednesday in connection with the Dec. 27 carjacking and shooting and the teens arrested earlier this week can be linked to other recent carjackings in Cleveland and surrounding suburbs.

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