Saturday, May 9, 2009

Cops seek gunman, victim in armed kidnapping


FEDERAL WAY -- Sheriff's detectives are looking for an armed robber who held up a convenience store at gunpoint, then dragged a female customer from the counter and out to the parking lot before releasing her.

The woman was released unharmed, then left the scene. But detectives still need to talk with her because she is legally considered a kidnapping victim and may be able to help solve the case, said John Urquhart of the King County Sheriff's Office.

The incident happened at about 2:25 a.m. Wednesday at the 7-Eleven located at 34051 Military Road South, east of Federal Way.

The robber held the clerk at gunpoint and forced her to empty two cash registers as the customer, standing at the counter, looked on.

When the robber left he grabbed the customer around the neck in a choke hold, pistol in his other hand, and dragged her out of the business, Urquhart said.

The woman was pulled most of the way across the parking lot before she was released. The suspect ran off, and the woman did not come back into the store.

Detectives say this goes way beyond the typical convenience store robbery.

"This was more than, you know, I've got a gun in my pants or my pocket or something," Urquhart said. "He had the gun out, threatened her with it, made her empty both cash drawers. So it's two or three steps above a lot of the robberies we get - and then way above, from the standpoint of grabbing this woman around the neck."

The gunman was described as an Asian or Pacific Islander, about 5-feet-6-inches tall and weighing over 200 pounds. He was wearing a blue baseball hat, black sunglasses, a dark sweatshirt, dark pants, and black gloves. He was about 25 years old.

The kidnapping victim is also about 25 years old, perhaps 5-feet-4-inches tall and weighing about 120 pounds.

Anyone who recognizes either the suspect or the victim is asked to call the King County Sheriff's Office at (206) 296-3311 or 911.