CARMICHAEL, Calif. — Thieves robbed an elderly man at a busy Carmichael shopping center in broad daylight earlier this week and now law enforcement are asking anyone who may have witnessed it to come forward.
"People who are looking to steal high dollar items, designer items, are very sophisticated in being able to spot those items on your person when you are out and about," Sgt. Rod Grassmann with the Sacramento County Sheriff's Office said.
Around 2 p.m. Monday, March 21, an 81-year-old man reported he left a restaurant at the Pavilions Shopping Center and drove to the Five Points Plaza on Arden Way and Fair Oaks Boulevard when the unexpected happened.
"As soon as he got out of his vehicle, an individual, male suspect, accosted him with a gun and took an expensive wristwatch from him," Grassmann said.
Although shaken up, the victim walked away unharmed. He told police he might have been targeted and followed by thieves all the way from the Pavilions where he was enjoying lunch.
"When I look at the circumstance of that, that certainly makes sense. We're gonna be looking at that and we have ways of determining that," Grassmann said.
Security expert Hector Alvarez said being situationally aware is vital when you're out in public, especially if you're carrying or wearing an expensive item. He offered some suggestion for anyone who believes they're being followed or targeted.
"You can take a series of very specific turns and we encourage you to take right turns. You take three immediate right turns, you know you're being followed," Alvarez said. "Maybe go to someplace that's populated and draw attention to yourself. Don't park in a regular parking spot. If you're gonna go to a police department, call them and let them know you're coming. They may be someplace else and have you meet in another location."
The Sacramento County Sheriff's Office isn't releasing any suspect descriptions for now but said the incident was caught on surveillance video and there could be up to three people involved.
"In this day and age of technology, you cannot commit crimes like this and not be seen," Grassman said. "We will find you and we will arrest you."