St. Paul police are investigating two carjackings in which victims were held at gunpoint in the same Kowalski's Market on Grand Avenue and forced to drive their vehicles and withdraw cash from ATMs.
St. Paul police spokesman Sgt. Paul Paulos said a 32-year-old woman was leaving the Kowalski's, located at 1261 Grand Avenue, on Sunday at about 11:10 p.m. when a man with a gun pushed her into her vehicle and made her drive to the U.S. Bank at 1071 Grand Avenue.
"The next thing you know, he approaches, tells you to put things in the car, points a gun at you, shoves you in through the passenger seat into the driver's seat and takes you to the first ATM that's local," Paulos said.
When she couldn't withdraw money, the carjacker made her drive to the TCF Bank near Lexington Parkway and University Avenue. Upon withdrawing money at that location, he took it and told her to drive to another location to drop him off.
It was the second time in as many weeks that someone was robbed at gunpoint and forced to withdraw money from an ATM, and police believe the same man is responsible for both.
The other victim was a 63-year-old man putting groceries in his car at the same Kowalski's on June 8. At around 10:30 p.m., a man approached with a handgun and ordered the victim to drive to an area ATM to withdraw money. The carjacker then stole the money and ran off into an area of Lexington Parkway and Thomas Avenue.
Paulos said a vehicle was waiting in the area to pick up the carjacker in both instances.
Police are currently investigating the incidents and working to obtain surveillance videos from area businesses in the hopes of getting a clear image they can release to the public.