Man offers to clear snow, steals SUV

The 72-year-old woman whose car was stolen speaks to 24 Hour News 8's Heather Walker. (Nov. 19, 2014)


HOLLAND, Mich. (WOOD) — A 72-year-old woman said a man who offered to clear the snow from her SUV instead stole the vehicle with her walker still inside.

It happened around 11 p.m. Friday in the parking lot of the Meijer at 16th Street and Waverly Road in Holland. Jean, the woman whose SUV was stolen, said she had just finished a 7-hour shift at the store.

“It just upsets me that there’s people out there like this that could harm somebody,” said Jean, who 24 Hour News 8 is identifying by first name only to protect her identity.

Jean said she was loading her walker, which she started using sometimes after having a knee replaced in August, into the back of her Ford Escape when she was approached by a man. He offered to clear the snow from the windshield in exchange for cash

“I said, ‘Well, I don’t have any money.’ I did, but I didn’t want him to know that,” Jean said.

The man didn’t leave. Suddenly, Jean said, he grabbed her keys out of her hand.

“I thought, ‘Oh, he’ll just start my car.’ He started up and he just took off,” she said.

As he drove away, the SUV’s rear lift gate was still open and Jean’s walker was still inside.

“I just started to yell: ‘Come back, come back. Stop. Stop,'” she recalled.

A couple in the parking lot called police.

“I didn’t know what to do. I broke down,” Jean said.

She was not hurt, but not having her walker has been difficult, she said.

The Escape was found Wednesday afternoon abandoned in the parking lot of the AAC Credit Union in Zeeland. Police have not told Jean when she will get it back. It’s not yet clear whether her walker was still inside when the SUV was found.

Carjacking suspect caught on surveillance video. (Nov. 15, 2014)
(The person of interest in a car theft seen on surveillance video.)

The person of interest is described as a heavyset white man who is around 25 to 35 years old. He was last seen wearing a dark winter jacket.

“I want him to pay for what he did. He’s out me through a lot of stress,” Jean said. “He better watch his Ps and Qs. If he’s around here, we’ll get him.”

Anyone with information is asked to call the Holland Department of Public Safety at 616.355.1105 or email investigators at policetips@cityofholland.com, or contact Silent Observer at 877.887.4536.

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