Local News

Mall carjacking suspect caught

Mall carjacking suspect caught

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. - A man is behind bars and an elderly woman's car is recovered after a carjacking in Colorado Springs.

Police said 18-year-old Jeffrey Frank approached the woman as she left the Dillard's store at Chapel Hills Mall Sunday around 6 p.m. According to police, he asked her for a dollar and when she declined, he became angry and demanded the keys to her car.  He struck her arms, police said, forcing her to drop her keys.  He picked them up and drove away in her black Audi.

Police said they obtained surveillance video from the mall to help with the investigation. The Auto Theft Taskforce made the arrest Monday afternoon.

Police called the crime random and surprising -- especially since it happened during daylight hours.

"In a mall, we don't usually have that kind of brazen crime because there's a lot of witnesses," said Lt. Catherine Buckley with the Colorado Springs Police Department.

Despite the crime, Buckley said shoppers should not be worried about going to the mall.  Most malls, including Chapel Hills, have security guards and surveillance cameras to help keep shoppers safe.  Buckley offered advice when walking to your car alone.  Be aware of your surroundings, avoid using your cell phone and keep your keys in hand.

"Most cars these days actually have an alarm system," Buckley said.  "So you can push the button on those keys and create noise from your vehicle or you can unlock your vehicle, get in and lock it right away."

Frank is being held on a $50,000 bond.  Since the victim was older than 70, the crime is considered an at-risk crime, which adds enhancers to any kind of punishment.

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