Apopka man carjacks 76-year-old woman at grocery store, deputies say

Deputies arrest Christopher Allen Roberts, 30, minutes after carjacking

ORLANDO, Fla. – A 76-year-old Orange County woman is shaken up after she said a man carjacked her while she was putting away her groceries at a store on South Orange Blossom Trail Thursday.


The Orange County Sheriff's Office said the incident happened around noon at the Sedano's located at the intersection of South Orange Blossom Trail and Deerfield Boulevard. 


Deputies arrested Christopher Allen Roberts, 30, of Apopka and charged him with the carjacking.


"Pulled me out and took the keys and left," 76-year-old Amilda Avela said. 


News 6 spoke to Avela after the incident. She was checking out her car for the first time since she got it back after deputies said Roberts stole it.


"He came and said, 'Give me the car.' He said, 'Get out, get out,' and pulled me back and out took the keys," Avela said. "'Give me the keys, give me the keys.' I tried to take my purse out, but he pulled me out."


Avela called the Orange County Sheriff's Office. Deputies put an alert out on her vehicle. Extra deputies patrolling the Florida Mall nearby spotted it on OBT.


"Rapido, so fast. Police was amazing," Avela said.


Deputies pursued Roberts for about 10 miles. They said he hit a street sign, causing damage to the car, but no injuries. The Sheriff's Office tells News 6 he eventually ditched the car at 20th Street and OBT and jumped a fence to try to hide from deputies.



"We had the helicopter up at the time. Helicopter locked onto him and guided deputies to where he was hiding right across the way here," Lt. Mike Crabb with the Orange County Sheriff's Office said. 


Deputies arrested Roberts. He's facing several charges, including carjacking, fleeing and eluding, resisting arrest, and battery on a person 65 and older.


The Sheriff's Office said deputies aren't sure why Roberts was in this area and he didn't know the victim. 


"It is a random carjacking. I have no sense of any issues for the neighborhood down on South Orange Blossom Trail," Crabb said. 


Avela said she is thankful this didn't end worse and her attacker is behind bars. 


"We don't need that kind of people on the streets of Orlando," she said.


Avela told News 6 she was not hurt. She added that she doesn't understand why someone would do this. 


"Sorry for him -- sorry for him because what man does that to a lady, 76 years old?" Avela said.