Man Hides In Back Of Vehicle At Gas Station, Robs People When They Return

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Police are investigating a robbery after two women say that a man hid in the back seat of their SUV at the intersection of Route 161 and Maple Caynon on the north side of Columbus about 1:30 on Monday afternoon.

The women said that while they were inside the gas station at that intersection, a man crawled into the back seat and hid.

According to a police report, the two women did not see him until they got back in the SUV, and they say that's when he popped up and surprised them, telling them he had a gun.

The women said that from the backseat, the robber took cash and their two iPhones and then forced the women to drive more than 16 miles south into an east Columbus neighborhood in the 4000 block of Astor Avenue.

Tonia Kay and her husband happened to be nearby and ready to help.

“The robber told them to let him out, drive to the end of the street, turn around and pick him up…well, they didn't do that, thank God,” said Kay.

Kay says the women pulled into her cousin’s driveway on South Yearling Road and told them about the robbery.

She called the police and tried to put the women at ease. “I actually hugged the woman in the passenger seat and tried to get her to calm down, I mean, she almost couldn't talk she was so distraught,” said Kay.

Police are now looking at surveillance video from the gas station to try to get a good description of the robber.

“We may have more opportunities because of the amount of time the suspect spent with the victims,” said Sgt. Shaun Laird with the Columbus Police robbery squad.

Kay hopes her example inspires others to be good Samaritans. “I honestly pray these girls can get security back and not be afraid,” said Kay.

WBNS-10TV talked to one of the victims who said she just had a baby a week ago, and she is just glad her newborn was not in the SUV when their nightmare began.

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