Antioch PD credit Target employee for helping to catch kidnapper

Antioch police say Target employee Roxanna Ramirez is a true hero in the Antioch AMBER Alert case.
January 6, 2014 12:00:00 AM PST
Antioch Police Department Acting Chief Tammany Brooks is hailing a vigilant Target employee for phoning in a kidnapping suspect's bizarre behavior after Friday night's AMBER Alert was called.

Investigators only had a very general description of the kidnapper and the car, but it was the information from Roxanna Ramirez that led them straight to the suspect and the little girl. Ramirez, who works at the Target store in Pittsburg, provided the crucial information that helped track down kidnapping suspect 43-year-old David Douglas of Antioch.

"He was just fidgeting around. I wasn't getting a good vibe off of him," said Ramirez.

It's Ramirez's job to prevent shoplifting at Target. She said the man she was watching didn't steal anything, but she kept an eye on him.

"At one point I seen him grab onto his steering wheel and start to shake it like if something was wrong with him. So that's when I thought, 'OK, there's something wrong with this guy. He's not all there,'" said Ramirez.

Roxanna took down the license plate of his gold Toyota Camry. Then, later that night her girlfriend, Antonia Grijalva, read her the AMBER Alert for an abducted 7-year-old girl.

"The car looked the same and I was like, 'It might be the same person,' and I remembered I wrote down the license plate number and my girlfriend was telling me, 'You should call, you should call,'" said Ramirez.

"And once we knew who he was, we were able to learn additional information which gave us the wherewithal to go out and look for him at the Antioch Marina because we had information that's where he liked to frequent," said Brooks.

The AMBER Alert was issued Friday night for a young girl taken outside of her Antioch home at around 6:45 p.m. Police say Douglas followed the family home from a shopping trip at Walmart. As the child's mother was unloading groceries in the driveway, the suspect approached, grabbed the girl and drove off.

An AMBER Alert was activated and the search for her lasted almost four hours until the girl was found alive in the suspect's car at the Antioch Marina.

In a jailhouse interview with the Bay Area News Group, Douglas said, "It was a cry for help to get out of a situation."

Police arrested Douglas and they say he has no connection to the family and is not a registered sex offender. They believe Douglas tried to kidnap another child from their mother from the Antioch Walmart on Thursday.

Antioch police say Ramirez's information was key to rescuing the girl.

"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," said Ramirez.

The police thanked Ramirez several times and they're calling her a true hero.

Police are now discrediting a woman who claimed she helped locate the kidnapped girl, and her suspected abductor.

LeShay Burks even gave interviews to ABC7 News and other media outlets. Detectives say Burks played no role in the case and that she's not cooperating with their investigation.


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