INDIANAPOLIS (WXIN) — Police in Indianapolis are searching for an armed carjacker who attacked a woman outside of an assisted living center in broad daylight.
Fortunately, she was able to give them a clear clue to work with after the man took an accidental selfie of himself with her phone after driving off with it.
“I was just in shock, but I was really scared. Really, really scared,” said Megan Whisler.
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She was sitting in her 2005 Ford 500 around 10 a.m. Monday in the parking lot of the assisted living center while her mom was inside visiting with a relative.
Within minutes, a stranger armed with a gun came up to the driver’s side window.
“I couldn’t even form a thought. So I turned off my car and he said, ‘Scoot over.’ I think he wanted me to get in the passenger’s seat. I don’t know if he was up to something more sinister or if he just wanted me to not make a scene and not scream. But I didn’t want to go anywhere with him,” said Whisler.
Instead, she got out of the car and gave him the keys.
“And he just snatched my phone out of my hand, and he got in my car. And I literally just watched him,” she said.
The man then took off in her car.
Police tracked Whisler’s phone and found it about 15 minutes away. The suspect had thrown it out in a neighborhood.
Whisler said once she got her phone back, she realized the suspect had left a clue on it.
“I looked and was like, ‘Oh, my God.’ That’s the person, that’s the person that literally robbed me today and took my car,” she said.
The photo was on Whisler’s phone when she got it back. She thinks her phone was making a noise as she was pinging it after the carjacking. She figures the sound might have scared him, and when he grabbed the phone to investigate he accidentally snapped a selfie.
Daniel Rosenberg, with Crime Stoppers, said carjackings have been on the rise in Indianapolis.
“We need to make sure somebody like this isn’t wandering around on our streets,” said Rosenberg.
Whisler isn’t worried about her car or the belongings inside it. She said she just wants the carjacker stopped before he strikes again.
“I consider myself very lucky that I made it away with my life, and everything that he took is replaceable,” she said. “Who’s to say the next time he does this it’s not the same outcome?”
Investigators said it’s too early to say if the suspect is connected to other carjackings or other crimes in the area.
If you recognize the man in the picture or the car, call Crime Stoppers at 317-262-TIPS (8477.)