CSULB police search for suspect who carjacked student at gunpoint

The University Police Department at Cal State Long Beach is looking for a man suspected of stealing a student’s car keys at gunpoint and driving away on Wednesday afternoon.

The department said on Twitter that at about 1:40 p.m., the suspect approached the victim outside his vehicle on the fourth floor of the parking structure next to the Pyramid and started a casual conversation with the victim for about 10 minutes. The victim did not know the suspect, Capt. John Brockie said.

“The suspect then spun the victim around and held a handgun to the victim’s neck, took the victim’s keys, took the victim’s vehicle, and left campus,” UPD said.

The stolen vehicle was a silver 2009 Lexus RX350, which is a midsize SUV. The victim was not injured, Brockie said.

The suspect is described as a white man with medium length brown hair in his 20s and about 5-feet-8 inches tall and 160 pounds. He had unkempt facial hair and wore a royal blue windbreaker jacket and had a backpack.

The brazen incident in the middle of the day surprised the police department.

“I talked to our longest-tenured officer on campus and he said he doesn’t remember ever having a carjacking on campus,” Brockie said.

The only other incident that comes close is an attempted carjacking at 9:30 p.m. on March 16, 2017, but it was in a different part of campus and the suspect did not have a weapon.

UPD asked if anyone believes they witnessed the incident, to call UPD detectives at 562-985-4101 or their anonymous tip line at 562-986-5131.

Editor’s note: This story has been updated with additional information on a previous attempted carjacking incident.

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Valerie Osier is a breaking news and crime reporter for the Long Beach Post. She’s a Riverside native who found her love for journalism while at community college. She graduated from Cal State University, Long Beach journalism program in 2017 and covered the Palos Verdes Peninsula for the Daily Breeze prior to coming to the Post. She lives in Long Beach with her husband, Steven, and her cat/child, Jones.