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Thursday, November 27, 2014

Walmart hitchhiker steals man's money, car

The chances of someone becoming a victim of violent crime or property crime in Columbia is 1 in 23, per 1,000 residents.

Dec. 7, 2012

A man was held at gunpoint and instructed to withdraw money from his bank account Tuesday after giving a ride to a stranger from Walmart.

At approximately 10:24 p.m. Tuesday, Columbia police officers were notified of an in-progress robbery at the Walmart Super Center on West Broadway. The suspect, identified as a 5-foot-8-inch slender, black male, approached the victim as he was leaving. Once they got into the victim’s car, the suspect withdrew a handgun and held the victim at gunpoint, demanding that he drive to his bank.

The suspect struck the victim once in the head and face with the handgun on the way to the bank. The victim suffered minor injuries from the strike.

The victim withdrew money from the ATM at his bank on Broadway for the suspect, who stole the victim’s keys, electronics, wallet and white 2002 Ford Focus. The victim then fled to the Columbia Police Department.

The suspect has been described as a male in his late 20s to early 30s and was last seen wearing a black jacket, dark jeans, stocking cap and gloves.

When asked about similar incidents in the past year, CPD spokeswoman Latisha Stroer said the statistics for armed robberies and car thefts aren’t broken down to banks or people, as they are all classified as armed.

Violent crime and property crime are not uncommon in Columbia.

According to an online source of crime statistics, Neighborhoodscout.com, the chance of someone becoming a victim of violent crime or property crime in Columbia is 1 in 23, per 1,000 residents. This is higher than the 1 in 29 chance of someone becoming a victim throughout the state of Missouri.

The chance of a person becoming a victim of violent crime in Columbia is 1 in 200, or 5 per 1,000 people. Violent crime includes armed robbery, aggravated assault, rape and murder.

The property crime rate is 38 per 1,000 people in Columbia; this includes motor vehicle theft, arson, larceny and burglary.

The property crime rate is the primary factor that has driven the average crime rate of violent and property crimes to above average.

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