TAYLORSVILLE — Police from two jurisdictions were looking Sunday for suspects in a pair of carjackings that happened at almost the same time. One involved a mother and her two children, who were forced out of their vehicle.
The first incident began about 3:45 p.m. Sunday while a woman was sitting in her Nissan Rogue in the parking lot of Fresh Market, 4710 S. Redwood Road, said Unified Police Lt. Brian Lohrke.
The woman had just dropped off her husband, who ran inside the store, and was waiting in the driver's seat with the car running. Her 8-year-old son and an 18-month-old child were in the back seat, Lohrke said.
While she was waiting, a man approached her car, opened her door, grabbed her and forced her out of the car, Lohrke said. He then grabbed the 18-month-old out of its car seat and placed the child outside the vehicle. The 8-year-old ran off to find his father in the store, Lohrke said.
The man then got in the driver's seat and took off, he said. No weapon was seen during the confrontation.
Murray police found the vehicle abandoned a short time later near 5700 South and 300 East. A red shirt that the man was wearing was found inside the vehicle, according to Lohrke.
The alleged carjacker was described as a white male in his late teens to early 20s with short blond hair, and about 5-foot-5.
Lohrke said detectives were checking nearby business surveillance video to try and identify the man, and also determine if he is a suspect in any other crimes.
While police were investigating that incident, another carjacking happened at almost the same time in Salt Lake City.
A valet at Fleming's Prime Steakhouse, 20 S. 400 West, located in The Gateway, was parking a new Jaguar when a man approached him and demanded the keys, said Salt Lake Police Lt. Justin Hudson. The valet initially told the man no.
"The suspect had his hands in his hoodie and basically said, 'If you don't give me the keys I'm going to shoot you in the head.' Obviously the valet at that point relinquished the keys," Hudson said.
The person who drove the car told police that the vehicle was a rental and that his cellphone was still inside. Detectives used the phone to trace the car to 3685 S. 900 East, where the vehicle was found abandoned, he said.
Hudson said police believe the carjacking was likely a crime of opportunity, and there was no evidence as of Sunday afternoon to link it with the other incident.
The man in the Fleming's carjacking investigation was described as a Hispanic male in his mid-to-late 20s, about 5-foot-6, and last seen wearing a gray hoodie and blue jeans.
Anyone with information on the man can call police at 801-799-3000.