A Sunday afternoon shopping excursion turned terrifying for a local woman when an armed man demanded cash and a ride to an ATM.
The woman told Boise Police she had finished putting shopping bags in her car's back seat after leaving a store in the Franklin Road-Milwaukee Street area shortly after 2 p.m. on Dec. 13. She then climbed behind the wheel and was fastening her seat belt when a light-skinned, mid-30s male with brown facial hair and a small black handgun opened the rear driver's side door and climbed in behind her.
The woman said he demanded money, then ordered her to drive him to a cash machine. She was able to talk him out of that destination and he got out of the vehicle a short distance away. The woman then drove home and called police. She was unhurt in the incident.
A search of the area turned up no one matching her description of the suspect, who was wearing a tight-fitting solid brown beanie and large round black sunglasses.
Boise Police maintain this is an isolated incident but used it as an opportunity to educate the shoppers among us. Be "absolutely alert and attentive to [your] surroundings," said Lt. Ron Winegar, BPD watch commander.
Among the safety precautions suggested: Lock your car at all times, including when inside the vehicle. Also, use your cell phone only for urgent or emergency calls when shopping or heading back to your car. Idle chat can distract you and give predators the opening they need to strike. And finally, shop with friends; there's power in numbers.