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Thursday, September 01, 2005

KC police link 7 recent crimes

Robbery attempts include two shootings

By CHRISTINE VENDEL

The Kansas City Star

A gunman who shot a man in the heel as the man escorted a teenager to her bus stop Wednesday morning might be responsible for six similar crimes, police said.

Each time, victims gave similar descriptions of the gunman. Each time, he drove a stolen vehicle.

In two of the seven Kansas City crimes, the gunman shot others — the 62-year-old man Wednesday in the 3500 block of Windsor Avenue and another man in the knee Aug. 24 at a car wash at 5700 Independence Ave. Both times, he fired after the men said they didn’t have money.

Robbery Detective Michael Blakemore said the gunman robbed four persons at car washes, one person at a service station and a 71-year-old man cleaning his car in front of his house.

That man gave up his wallet and watch, and then pulled his own gun from a pocket and fired at the fleeing robber.

In some instances, the gunman stole the victim’s vehicles.

All seven crimes occurred within 10 days in the Northeast area or just north of the Missouri River, Blakemore said. The times ranged from 12:50 a.m. to 6:45 p.m.

The gunman drove a different stolen vehicle each time. All the vehicles later were found abandoned in the Northeast area.

Sometimes, the gunman worked with a partner. The gunman threatened to kill several victims or to shoot them in the head, Blakemore said.

“He’s shot two people, so we know he’s dangerous,” Blakemore said. “I’d advise people to be cautious of their surroundings, especially at car washes in the Northeast area.”

In Wednesday’s crime, a man was walking a 15-year-old family friend to her bus stop about 6:15 a.m. when a white Lincoln Navigator approached. The driver stepped out and demanded money. The man said he didn’t have any. The girl ran. The gunman shot the man as the girl hid in some bushes.

A jogger told police he saw the vehicle just before the shooting. The jogger said the vehicle swerved toward him, forcing him to jump behind parked cars. He and the driver exchanged profanities before the vehicle sped away. Several minutes later, the jogger said, he heard one gunshot.

Later Wednesday, police found the Navigator abandoned in the Northeast area.

Police said the gunman was white, 20 to 25 years old, with a thin build and light brown hair. He sometimes has worn a bandanna over his face. He may have a slight mustache.

Anyone with information should call the TIPS Hotline at (816) 474-TIPS (474-8477).
To reach Christine Vendel, call (816) 234-4438 or send e-mail to cvendel@kcstar.com .

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