Odd News

Target employee’s instinct leads police to kidnapper and rescue of 7-year-old

Odd News

Roxanna Ramirez, a Target security specialist, was on duty at the chain’s Pittsburg, California store when her instincts and sharp eyes helped lead to the arrest of suspected kidnapper, David Douglas. Roxanna’s position at the retail giant is in the loss prevention department where she works to stop thieves. But her experience at catching unusual behavior proved helpful in other ways when she spotted a visitor to the store who was acting suspiciously.

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Roxanna Ramirez (KGO)

Roxanna Ramirez (KGO)

KPIX 5 spoke to the 22-year-old Target employee who said, “He was just being weird. Like, his activities were not normal.” Then when the man left, Roxanna witnessed more strange behavior. “He was pacing back and forth. He was changing his clothes in the parking lot. He started messing around with his backpack. And at one point, he was sitting in the car, and like shaking his steering wheel,” recalled Roxanna. That’s when, the Contra Costa Times notes, Ms. Ramirez used the store surveillance cameras to zoom in on his car and wrote down the man’s gold Toyota Camry license plate number. When she returned from lunch and the man’s car was gone, Roxanna didn’t think further about it.

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David Douglas' car (KGO)

David Douglas' car (KGO)

Later when the Target employee was at home, her girlfriend mentioned that an AMBER Alert was issued for the kidnapping of a 7-year-old girl from her driveway in Antioch and described the suspect. Roxanna told the newspaper, “I was like, ‘Hold on…’ This was the guy in the store. He looked like that, and that matched the car description.” At first she hesitated to contact the authorities, but she eventually called the police and gave them the man’s license plate number. Just 45 minutes later, that information led the police to find David Douglas at the Antioch Marina with the girl who was physically unharmed. Officers arrested Douglas, who has no connection to the girl’s family and is not a registered sex offender.

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(Antioch Police via KPIX)

(Antioch Police via KPIX)

KGO ABC 7, spoke to Douglas behind bars and reported that the suspect admitted to the kidnapping, but said, “…he did not harm the little girl and kidnapping her wasn’t his idea.” The accused talked about, “…a government conspiracy to control every aspect of his life, including his decision to linger around big-box stores and follow three different small children the day he took the girl.” KGO reported that he specifically denied being mentally ill but would be willing to speak to a psychologist to free him from the government conspiracy. Douglas is in jail on a $4 million bond and gave a tearful apology to his victim and her family.

The Antioch Police Department detectives congratulated Roxanna, thanked her, and called her a true hero. Lieutenant Tammany Brooks said, "What she did was what truly broke the case." Ms. Ramirez was thrilled with the outcome and learned a valuable lesson, "Don't keep it to yourself because I wanted to keep this to myself and it was a good thing I didn't because I just saved a little girl's life."

Video and more info: KPIX, Contra Costa Times, KGO

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