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East Ventura County Focus

THOUSAND OAKS : First Carjacking Reported at The Oaks

March 26, 1994|MACK REED

A carjacking at gunpoint at The Oaks mall--the first reported there--left a department store worker temporarily without a car but unhurt, sheriff's deputies said Friday.

Pam Wimer, 35, of Thousand Oaks, was walking to her car from her workplace at the mall at about 6:30 p.m. Thursday when a mustachioed man in his late 20s walked up from behind, deputies said.

The man jammed a dark semiautomatic pistol into Wimer's left side and demanded her car keys, which she gave to him, authorities said.

The man then drove off in Wimer's silver 1985 Chrysler, and she ran inside to telephone police.

The car was found in another shopping center less than a mile away, but the carjacker was still at large, said Sgt. Kitty Hoberg. Detectives were searching the car for evidence Friday, she said.

While the carjacking was apparently the first in the history of The Oaks, there have been about six others in Thousand Oaks in the past two years, Hoberg said.

"I guess people should be aware of it, but it doesn't happen all that often in Thousand Oaks," she said.

Meanwhile, the mall's general manager declined to say whether security at The Oaks was tightened because of the carjacking.

"I would prefer not to comment on our security staffing," said General Manager Barbara Teuscher. "What they don't know, they don't need to know. (Such information) can be used as much by the criminal element as it can to reassure people that there is adequate security."

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