Fresno County Sheriff’s deputies are warning the public to be on the lookout for a man who possibly made an abduction attempt in a grocery store parking lot. The incident was caught on camera and the suspect is described as being Hispanic or east Indian, in his mid-20s and he speaks clear English.
Around 3:45 pm on Monday, June 26th, the suspect pulled into the parking lot of Valley Food Market, located at 2259 W. Tahoe Ave. in Caruthers. The man was driving a silver color 2014 or 2015 Nissan Sentra passenger car.
After staying parked in a stall for six minutes, the man slightly cracked open the rear passenger door of the car. Eight minutes later, he opened the door halfway as a young woman was walking by and he called out for help.
The woman stopped, looked into the car and saw a well-dressed man lying across a roll of barbed wire. The man claimed he was stuck and asked the woman to help him get free. The woman noticed that he was not actually stuck in the wire and became suspicious of his intentions. She told him she would go inside the store and get others to help him.
The man became upset that she was leaving and shut the door. A store employee went outside a couple minutes later and saw the man in the driver’s seat of the car. The man backed out of his parking space and drove away. A store surveillance camera captured video of the encounter.
“Our biggest concern right now is if this guy is willing to do this to this young woman he may try it again or maybe he’s tried to do it in the past and we haven’t heard about it,” said Tony Botti of the Fresno County Sheriff’s Department. “”We are just hoping to stir up some calls and leads that can help us identify this guy. Track down him and his vehicle and at the very least get him in for some questioning.”
Store employees say this incident has them on edge and after a recent spike in crime in Caruthers it’s more evidence of why people need to be aware of potential danger.
“It just freaks me out that stuff like this is happening,” said Jaqueline Rosario, an employee at the grocery store. “it’s good that people know that now, hey. People can get hurt. You need to check your surroundings. You need to be careful.”
The woman called the Sheriff’s Office and filed a report saying she believes this man may have been trying to abduct her. Anyone with information on the suspect or who has had an experience similar to this one is asked to call the Sheriff’s Office at (559) 600-3111. You may reference case # 17-9366.