Man sentenced in carjacking, robbery case

Tomas Garcia at sentencing proceedings in Grand Haven. (Feb. 9, 2015)

GRAND HAVEN, Mich. (WOOD) — The man who carjacked an Ottawa County woman at knifepoint, forcing her to drive him to a Grand Rapids ATM and give him cash, is headed to prison.

Tomas Garcia was sentenced Monday to between 8 and 20 years in prison.

“I’d just like to apologize to the community, to my family. Just glad to have some closure, and move on,” Garcia said during his sentencing in Grand Haven Circuit Court.

The 24-year-old victim did not appear in court Monday.

Garcia pleaded no contest to charges of unlawful imprisonment and armed robbery in January.

In August 2014, investigators say, Garica abducted the woman from outside her Georgetown Township apartment building at knifepoint and then made her drive him to an ATM on Grand Rapids’ West Side, where he made her withdraw some cash from her account.

The Grand Rapids ATM a woman says she was forced to drive to and withdraw money. (Aug. 14, 2014)
(The Fifth Third Bank branch ATM.)

Surveillance cameras from the ATM at the Bridge Street Fifth Third Bank branch captured the last minutes of what must have been a harrowing ordeal for the victim.

After getting the money, Garcia forced the woman to drive to the area of Fulton Street and Lane Avenue, where she dropped him off.

She escaped without injury.

The victim had had moved out to be on her own only five days before the carjacking. Her mother told 24 Hour News 8 a few days after the crime that the victim “didn’t realize there were people out there like that.”

Garcia was arrested the day after the incident. A short time after his arrest, his mother told 24 Hour News 8 she believed her son was under the influence of drugs or alcohol at the time of the incident.

Garcia’s family didn’t want to comment Monday.

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