LAKEWOOD, Ohio — Lakewood police are investigating two armed carjackings and an attempted armed carjacking that were reported between 7:30 p.m. and 8:45 p.m. Wednesday night; one car was found and returned, but another has not yet been located.
At about 7:30 p.m., Lakewood officers received a call of an attempted armed robbery on Nicholson Avenue near Emerson Avenue, according to a news release from the city. Two suspects accosted a motorist as he got out of his vehicle and demanded his keys while displaying a handgun. After he refused to hand the keys over, the suspects pushed him to the ground and kicked him before fleeing on foot.
Then at about 8 p.m., officers received a call about a Jeep that was taken at gunpoint by two suspects on Merl Avenue near Nicholson Avenue, police said. The vehicle owner was not injured.
Shortly afterward, officers saw the vehicle, tried to stop it, and pursued it into Cleveland before ending the chase for safety reasons, the release states. Cleveland police later found the Jeep parked and unoccupied, and returned it to the owner.
At about 8:45 p.m., officers got another call about a silver 2020 Toyota Yaris taken at gunpoint from the City Center parking lot at the intersection of Warren Road and Detroit Avenue, officials said. As soon as the owner had pulled into the parking lot, an individual pressed a handgun into her side and pushed her to the ground. She was not injured, but the individual left with the vehicle. Officers have so far been unable to locate the vehicle or the individual involved.
Officers and detectives are working to develop suspect descriptions and information, and are investigating possible links between the three incidents.
News 5 spoke to residents who live in the area. They said crime is not common, but they'd like to see more security and lighting in the city.
Lakewood city council member Dan O'Malley believes Lakewood is a very safe place.
"We probably have more patrol officers per square mile than any other city in Cuyahoga County," O'Malley said.
O'Malley also mentioned that there are many surveillance cameras across the city, saying "we've got one at every single intersection on 117. I think we've got one literally at every border intersection in the entire city."
But situations like Wednesday's remind him, and the community as a whole, that there's always work that could be done.
"This is going to be something that we're going to really have to address as a community, but we have an obligation as a city to make sure that we're doing absolutely everything we can to keep our residents safe," O'Malley said.
Captain William Albrecht with the Lakewood Police Department advises residents to be aware of their surroundings and report suspicious activity they see.
"Situational awareness does have a lot to do with it. Being aware of your surroundings," Albrecht said. "You see something out of the ordinary give us a call. We'd be happy to come and investigate and find out if it's nothing but it could be life saving also."
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