Victim of Topgolf carjacking shares story as Independence PD releases surveillance video

Victim of Topgolf carjacking shares story as Independence PD releases surveillance video

INDEPENDENCE, Ohio (WOIO) - The Independence Police Department has released surveillance video from last Friday’s armed carjacking at Topgolf.

The video shows a group of men in a parking lot, with two approaching a woman as she walked toward her car. One of the men was armed.

“He said, ‘Give me the keys or I’m going to shoot you.' I said, ‘You’re going to shoot me?' Then he pulled the keys from my hand,” the victim, who we’re only identifying as Karmen, told 19 News.

She said he put the gun right up to her chest.

The men fled in her car, which was later recovered in Cleveland.

Independence Police Chief Michael Kilbane said his department is working with CPD to process the vehicle for evidence.

“Violent crime is extremely rare in Independence. We try to keep it that way. We’re an extremely proactive police department,” Kilbane said.

Karmen said the car was missing a number of personal items when it was found. She told 19 News she worries about the fact she left documents identifying her inside the car, including her home address.

When the car was found, the keys were still missing.

“They could just come to my house and take my car again anytime,” Karmen said. “Or break into my house.”

She said she’s been changing her locks and is considering getting a new car and finding a new place to live.

As investigators work their leads, Kilbane seemed confident arrests will be made.

“We’ll get you, we’re coming to get you,” he said, speaking directly to the men involved.

“It’s just crazy to think, amidst all the things happening in the world, it’s still as unsafe as ever to go out,” Karmen said.

Earlier this week, a new, portable security camera owned by Cuyahoga County was placed near Topgolf as an added safety measure.

With so many businesses reopening after being shutdown during the COVID-19 pandemic, Kilbane stressed the importance of staying vigilant.

“The key word [is] opportunity,” he said. “Most of these criminals are predators, opportunistic. [They’re] looking for an easy target.”

“Just check your surroundings. If I [had] looked up from my phone, I’d have seen them running from my car,” Karmen added.

“Topgolf is aware of the incident, however, we cannot comment on an ongoing investigation,” a spokesperson said.

As of Wednesday afternoon, no arrests have been made.

The victim started a GoFundMe page to help cover the costs of replacing locks and other expenses related to the incident. To donate, click here.

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