Check cashing employee carjacked and abducted, forced to drive back to work at gunpoint

DETROIT (WXYZ) - "All I could think about was my kids," says Katrina, a 30-year-old employee of CheckSmart in Harper Woods who was kidnapped during a carjacking Tuesday night.

Katrina (last name withheld) knew something was wrong when she arrived home after work around 9:15 p.m. and there was a masked man standing in driveway of her home on Detroit's east side.

The man was armed with a gun and asked Katrina who was inside the house. She told him her boyfriend and children. Katrina refused to let the man inside the house.

The man then ordered Katrina to drive back to work as he sat in the backseat of her vehicle while threatening to shoot her if she didn't do as he ordered.

The armed man who was wearing a green camouflage mask told Katrina that if she didn't go inside the CheckSmart and grab the money he thought was still inside the safe, he would order others who were waiting outside her home to open fire on the house.

The man wanted Katrina to get the money and then walk to a nearby CVS where he said he'd be waiting.

Detroit Police believe the man had been looking for an employee to target. Katrina believes the man zeroed in on her because she lives the closest to the check cashing store.

Katrina didn't remember seeing anyone else with the man when they were outside her house, so when she got inside the check cashing store, she locked the door behind her, called her boyfriend and told him to get out of the house with the kids.

They called 911 and police from Detroit and Harper Woods searched the area for the armed carjacker who took off in Katrina's silver Dodge Journey.

The vehicle was later found near the corner of Coram and Boulder streets in Detroit which is not far away from the check cashing store. It had been set on fire.  

Investigators with the Detroit Police Commercial Auto Theft Section are searching for the suspect who is described as a black male standing about 6 feet tall with a stocky build; he was wearing matching navy blue jogging pants and sweatshirt with white drawstrings and white tennis shoes. There was also that green camouflage mask used to try to hide his face.

Anyone with information in the case is urged to call investigators at (313)596-2555.

Tipsters could also be eligible for a $2,000 reward by calling 1(800)242-HEAT. That's the hotline for Help Eliminate Auto Thefts (H.E.A.T.).

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