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February 21, 2009

Second suspect charged in very unnerving daylight carjacking of 80-year-old woman from popular parking garage

Speaking of Olympia Place...

My mother is 80-plus years old and a longtime Walnut Creek resident. Lately, she has begun to take in matinees by herself at the Century 14 movie theater in downtown Walnut Creek’s Olympia Place. She tells me about it after the fact. I assume she is parking in the Olympia Place garage.

So, given what I know about my mom’s new movie-going habits, plus what I know about her particular 80-plus frailties (hearing issues, arthritis), it has been very disturbing to read again about the August 7 daytime carjacking of an 80-year-old woman from this garage.

The only silver lining, if you can describe it as such, is that Walnut Creek police, after an “exhaustive investigation,” have caught the second of two suspects, according to Lt Mark Covington.

The Contra Costa District Attorney’s Office has proceeded to charge this second person, Donnel Jenkins, 41, of Vallejo, with a list of charges: kidnapping, kidnapping during the commission of a robbery, robbery, elder abuse, and carjacking, Covington says.

So, from the police standpoint, the case is cleared. Now it is in the hands of the court system.

Back to the crime itself, which happened in supposedly safe Walnut Creek and in one of Walnut Creek’s best-used parking garages, where many people park if they’re going to the movies, shopping at Cost Plus, or other places around downtown Walnut Creek.

On August 7, 2008, a Thursday, at about 2:30 p.m., an 80-year-old woman was parking her car in the parking structure at 1251 Locust Street (Olympia Place). After getting out of her car, two guys accosted her. They were African-American males. They forced her back into her car, then took her and the car to McEwen Road, way out in the middle of nowhere, in the hills north of Highway 4 and between Martinez and Crockett. They then left the woman there, and her car (the year and model of which was not specified in the Walnut Creek press release) was later found abandoned in Bay Point in East Contra Costa County.

Remember, the victim in this case is 80 years old. We can all make assumptions about how she could handle such a trauma—mentally, emotionally, physically.

Fortunately, a passer-by found the woman and helped her call the police. A month later, the District Attorney’s Office filed kidnapping and robbery charges against Charles Donovan Taylor, a 23-year old resident of Baypoint. And now comes word of the arrest and charging of the second suspect, Jenkins, who is being held in Contra Costa County jail without bail.

This case reminds be a bit too much of another one I recently reported on: the killing of a 90-year-old Lafayette woman in her home. Her killer was just sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole.

For many of us with elderly parents, it’s just upsetting to read about creeps like this who prey on elderly people.

4 comments:

Anna said...

This is such a sad crime. So good to hear that suspects are captured. I have elderly parents and neighbors I think of all the time. It is good to be aware and cautious.

Sad story - yet Good reporting Soccer Mom.

Anonymous said...

I'm starting to think that violent crime is increasing as the economy worsens. Just last month, while walking home from the Pleasant Hill BART stop late one night, I was accosted by a guy who tried grabbing my purse. Luckily, he was unarmed and didn't suceed. But when I reported it to the sheriffs dept, they told me such incidents were becoming more common. I have to say: I lived in San Francisco for 25 yrs and never had anyone try to mug me near my home there, so it's interesting it happens here. I think the lack of fellow pedestrians on the street makes people more vulnerable here. So, ladies beware!

Jeff said...

I think your mother would benefit from subtitled movies? unfortunately the closest theaters are in Oakland and Dublin.
I am working on bringing subtitled movies to local theaters! I have a Blog at Theflaminskull.blogspot.com

I always thought that area would be safe plus I don't understand why someone would have the nerve to do this to an elderly person!

Anonymous said...

That Really sucks when the second suspect is your daughters father