Amber Alert: Oakland Police Respond to Carjacking, Child Abduction from Safeway

By NBC Bay Area Staff and Wire Services
|  Wednesday, Feb 12, 2014  |  Updated 4:31 PM PDT
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Oakland police continue to search for a teenage girl and an elderly man they said were carjacked and kidnapped from a Safeway parking lot Tuesday afternoon. Jean Elle reports.

Oakland police continue to search for a teenage girl and an elderly man they said were carjacked and kidnapped from a Safeway parking lot Tuesday afternoon. Jean Elle reports.

Photos and Videos

Amber Alert: Oakland Police Respond to Carjacking at Safeway

An Amber Alert was issued and Oakland police swarmed the parking lot of a Safeway grocery store early Tuesday afternoon in response to a report of a possible carjacking and child abduction. Jodi Hernandez reports.

Amber Alert: OPD Responds to Carjacking at Safeway

An Amber Alert was issued and Oakland police swarmed the parking lot of a Safeway grocery store early Tuesday afternoon in response to a report of a possible carjacking and child abduction. Jodi Hernandez reports.
More Photos and Videos

Oakland police continue to search for a teenage girl and an elderly man they said were carjacked and kidnapped from a Safeway parking lot Tuesday afternoon.

UPDATE: Oakland Amber Alert "Unfounded"

Reports came in around 12:50 p.m. of a man with a knife seen entering a red SUV outside the Safeway at 4100 Redwood Road, in the Lincoln Square Shopping Center, and forcing the driver to drive away, police said. Safeway surveillance video caught the man taking three lobsters and some ribeye steak before he left the store.

The SUV contained an older man and a girl, believed to be about 13 years old, Oakland police spokeswoman Officer Johnna Watson said. Police said the older man was behind the wheel.

The California Highway Patrol issued an Amber Alert within hours of the reported incident.

MORE: Surveillance Video Inside Safeway of Carjacking Suspect

“OPD has reports of six possible sightings of the Amber Alert vehicle,” Oakland police said in an email statement sent around 3:30 p.m. “Officers are en route to all six locations. If the cars turns out to be the right one, we will be notified right away."

The FBI also began helping police in the investigation late Tuesday.

Police on Tuesday night also asked people to be on the lookout for a red sedan with a California license plate number is 6JFM648.

Investigators initially linked the license plate to a red or burgundy 2001 Infiniti SUV, but the FBI and East Coast law enforcement found the registered owner of that vehicle and determined that it did not have its plates, Watson said.

For hours after the incident, police helicopters flew over the vicinity announcing that an Amber Alert had been issued.

"We don't want anyone approaching this vehicle," Watson said. "We have information that the suspect is armed with a knife ... so we want to approach this vehicle very cautiously."

CHP image shows suspect

The suspect is described as an African-American man in his 40s, about 5 feet 7 inches tall, with salt-and-pepper hair. He weighs about 165 pounds and was wearing a blue jacket and blue jeans, police said.

Oakland police release a surveillance image showing the suspect inside the Safeway store prior to the reported incident.

In the video, he is wearing a cap and headphones and is bopping around the store to music, grabbing some ribeye steaks from the freezer section.

He then fled the store and approached the SUV with the knife, she said.

Watson said multiple customers and employees witnessed the theft attempt, and others outside saw the carjacking.

Anyone who sees the car should call 911 immediately, Watson said.

Jean Elle, Jodi Hernandez, Bay City News and The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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