LAKEWOOD, Ohio — Lakewood is known for its walkability.
“I’ve been walking pretty much every street in Lakewood my entire life, day and night, no issue,” said a 22-year-old Lakewood resident.
But earlier this week, criminals may have seen that walkability as a vulnerability.
The 22 year-old woman, who did not want to be identified out of fear, said around 9:30 p.m. on Tuesday night she was walking home from a friend’s house near the train tracks between Bunts Road and Clifton Blvd.
“I noticed halfway down the street that there were people following me, but I just thought they were walking,” she said.
But she said she suddenly got a bad feeling about the man and woman who were walking behind her.
“That’s when the man rushed me and I felt something in my back and the woman was getting in my face,” she said. “Then he swings around my shoulder, the gun is then in my chest, and she’s saying ‘give me everything.’”
According to Lakewood Police Captain Gary Stone, the two suspects ran southbound on Bunts Road. The victim said all they got away with was her purse and that they were both wearing masks.
“They got my ID, my house key, my insurance card, my phone,” she said. “Is that really worth it to stick a gun in someone’s back and chest?”
Stone said muggings are not that common in Lakewood.
“People have to be cognizant of their surroundings, where they’re walking, what they’re doing, and keep a lookout for each other,” said Stone.
But about an hour later Tuesday night, another aggravated robbery took place: a woman was carjacked, just up the street from the mugging, outside of O’Neil’s Assisted Living Facility.
“She was sitting in her car the perpetrator approached her car, pointed a gun at her, and told her to get out of her car,” he said.
According to police reports, the suspect drove southbound on Bunts Road with the woman’s silver Subaru Crosstrek.
In the 911 call, the woman said the thief got away with her car, laptop, and Kindle.
Stone said they’re investigating if the same thieves committed both crimes, but he suspects that’s the case.
“It’s unusual that two similar crimes like that would happen in such a close time proximity and location proximity,” he said.
The young woman echoed his sentiment.
“I think they’re targeting women. It just feels too close for it to be a coincidence.”
Stone said the Lakewood Police Department is stepping up patrols in the area of Bunts Road and Clifton Blvd. but has not caught the suspects yet.
He said both victims acted appropriately in these two incidents.
“Just do what they say, they can be very irrational. You never know what could happen. We can always replace cars and stuff like that.”
If you know anything you’re asked to call the Lakewood Police Department.