GLADSTONE, Mo. — Police say suspects in the same stolen car could be responsible for several carjackings all around town the past month.
On Dec. 29, the driver of a dark gray/black Dodge Challenger was carjacked near Oak Park Mall. Since then, police in multiple metro communities have investigated carjackings or attempted carjackings involving similar descriptions of the same suspect vehicle.
Gladstone and Lee’s Summit police each report they’re working with other agencies involving carjackings committed by the driver and passenger of that stolen vehicle. Kansas City police were reported to also be involved.
Each of those agencies became involved in the investigation Jan. 17 when drivers reported being approached by the passenger of a charcoal gray or black Dodge Challenger with a gun. Each of those victims was also driving the same make and model of vehicle. The crimes happened about an hour apart, nearly 40 miles from each other.
The Lee’s Summit driver of a specialized Jeep Grand Cherokee said he was sitting at the intersection of 150 Highway and Ward Road when the Challenger bumped into his back end. But when the driver got out to inspect the damage, the passenger went running toward him with a gun.
The Lee’s Summit driver was able to get back into his car. The Gladstone driver wasn’t as lucky as the Challenger followed him to a store parking lot at 74th and North Oak Trafficway.
“I didn’t think much of it until I got out and had a gun in my face, him yelling at me to give him the key,” he said.
He complied and, days later, police in Kansas City, Kansas, found the Jeep had been wrecked, but weren’t able to track down the suspects. Despite the damage to his dream car, that victim has no regrets.
“Nothing in this world is worth more than a life. He can take what he wants, just let me live,” he said.
But with that same dark Dodge Challenger suspected in multiple carjackings in the past month, it has plenty of people looking over their shoulder.
“Typically if somebody rear-ended me, I would have just gotten out of the car, so I definitely will be thinking twice now,” Jenny Van Bebber said.
“It’s one of those things you kind of get changed. I don’t how long it will last. Maybe it will last the rest of my life. But I think about it when I get in the truck, just try to be cognizant of what’s around me and who’s around me,” he said.
Gladstone Police say being hyper-aware of your surroundings isn’t necessarily a bad thing right now. Lee’s Summit Police say if you get in a minor crash pull to the side of the road or a parking lot that is well lit and call 911 immediately to report it. If you have doubts about why that person may have crashed into you, just stay in your car with the window rolled up until police arrive.