Backseat robber escalated to rape, Toledo police say - Toledo News Now, News, Weather, Sports, Toledo, OH

Police say this is a photo of the suspect from surveillance video at Central Market on Central Avenue.

Backseat robber escalated to rape, Toledo police say

Police say this is a photo of the suspect from surveillance video at Central Market on Central Avenue. Police say this is a photo of the suspect from surveillance video at Central Market on Central Avenue.

By Lisa Rantala - bio | email

Posted by Lisa Strawbridge - email

TOLEDO, OH (WTOL) - After a woman was robbed at gunpoint last week in her own vehicle, police say the suspect has escalated to rape and is still at large.

Last week, a woman says she was leaving work in south Toledo when she was robbed by a man hiding in her unlocked vehicle.

Police released surveillance video Wednesday, March 10 of a man they say is the suspect in that crime as well as two new ones. The man was captured on video at Central Market on Central Avenue. Police say he picked his victim in the store, then went out and hid in her unlocked vehicle.

According to the victim's report, the suspect threatened her with a gun and told her to drive to a nearby ATM. When she could not get money out of the machine, she says he threatened to rape her. Instead of driving to an isolated location as ordered, the victim says she drove to a friend's house and started screaming for help. The suspect ran off, she told police.

Investigators say the suspect committed another crime 24 hours later, and this one escalated to rape. He hid in a woman's vehicle for this crime as well.

"He has already escalated from robbery to rape," said Toledo Police Captain, Ray Carroll. "He has a gun, and he's capable of escalating to the next level."

Police are searching for the suspect. They ask anyone with information to call CrimeStoppers at (419) 255-1111.

Crime expert and retired Toledo Police Sergeant Richard Murphy warns women to lock car doors and to scope out their vehicles as they're walking up to it. He says to look for any damage to the car that may indicate a break-in, such as a broken window or damaged door. If a woman finds herself in a situation with a perpetrator in her car, he suggests to draw attention by driving unusually -- slowly, erratically, speeding, etc.

Attacks have been reported at these locations in central and south Toledo:

  • 330 W. Central
  • 2413 Collingwood Blvd.
  • 1225 Collingwood Blvd
  • 1528 Broadway St.
  • 732 South Avenue

Copyright 2010 WTOL. All rights reserved.

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