DeLand police investigate 2 attempted carjacking attacks

Incidents occurred in Walmart, Florida Technological College parking lots, critically injured 1 victim

DeLand police are investigating two similar attempted carjacking incidents, at least one of which was armed, that occurred Saturday night and Sunday morning at a Walmart and college parking lot respectively.

DELAND, Fla. – DeLand police are investigating two similar attempted carjacking incidents, at least one of which was armed, that occurred Saturday night and Sunday morning at a Walmart and college parking lot respectively.

According to police, the first incident occurred around 11:50 p.m. Saturday in the parking lot of a Walmart, located at 1699 North Woodland Blvd. The second incident happened nearly an hour later in the parking lot of the Florida Technological College at 1199 South Woodland Blvd., resulting in a victim being transported to the hospital with critical injuries, investigators said.

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The carjackers, who do not live within the city limits of DeLand, are considered armed and dangerous, officers said. Investigators did not provide the identities of any potential suspects.

An incident report shows that the first victim was watching videos on his phone when the carjackers opened the vehicle’s doors, demanded he exit and asked for the keys. The victim then ran to the entrance of the Walmart for help, with the keys in his pocket, and the carjackers fled on foot toward North Woodland Boulevard, according to the report.

Police encourage the public to be aware of their surroundings when parking in public areas after dark.

“If somebody approaches you and you’re in a parking lot, and of course, if they’re brandishing a weapon, my suggestion is you just need to relinquish that property, whatever it is that they want. Just give them what they want. You know, don’t offer any resistance to that because bad things can happen,” DeLand Police Chief Jason Umberger said at a news briefing.

Anyone with information about these two incidents is urged to contact the DeLand Police Department Criminal Investigation Division by calling 386-626-7400 or leaving a tip on the Crimewatch portal.

This comes a week after DeLand police identified a man in connection with a fatal shooting of a woman who was found dead in a vehicle parked at an area Walgreens.

According to officers, Robert Fleming, 36, is wanted on a charge of first-degree murder in the death of Latosia Mitchell Warren, 36. The department said the two were from Ohio and have been in Central Florida for several months. Police said Fleming and Warren were also romantically involved.

“The Walgreens homicide was not a random act of violence... So that’s not connected to DeLand or any citizens here in DeLand,” Umberger said on Monday.

He said, unlike the Walgreens homicide, the two attempted carjacking incidents that occurred Saturday and Sunday are considered random acts of violence.

“We are asking the public to just be aware of your surroundings when you’re parked in a parking lot right now, especially after hours,” Umberger said. “I want everyone to know that our ultimate goal is to arrest these individuals and put them behind bars.”

No other information is available at this time. Check back here for updates.


About the Author:

Samantha started at WKMG-TV in September 2020. Before joining the News 6 team, Samantha was a political reporter for The Villages Daily Sun and has had freelance work featured in the Evansville Courier-Press and The Community Paper. When not writing, she enjoys travelling and performing improv comedy.