‘My heart stopped’: UBC student describes frightening carjacking at gunpoint

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WATCH: A young woman who says she was carjacked at gunpoint at UBC is speaking exclusively to Global News about the alleged incident that began on the 10th floor of a campus parkade. Jordan Armstrong reports – Sep 18, 2019

The victim of a carjacking at gunpoint at the University of British Columbia (UBC) campus says her sense of safety has been shattered by the frightening incident.

Police say officers received a report of a vehicle being stolen at gunpoint at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday.

The woman — referred to as Jane in order to protect her identity — tells Global News she left the UBC library around 6 p.m. and went to the west parkade, where her car was parked on the 10th floor.

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On her way up the stairs, Jane says she passed by two men talking on the ninth floor. She brushed it off, thinking they were students.

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After she got to her car on the next floor and began putting her belongings in the trunk, she looked back and saw the same two men talking and looking at her.

“That’s when I knew something was wrong,” she said.

“I felt very uneasy.”

READ MORE: Car reportedly stolen in alleged carjacking at UBC

Instead of putting her backpack in the trunk as she usually does, Jane unlocked the front door and wanted to get inside “as fast as possible” — but she was too late.

“I opened up the door … and they had already approached me with the gun,” she said, adding the weapon was just inches from her face.

“They demanded my car keys, and I said ‘I’ll give you anything.’ They just yanked the car keys out of my hand, they both got in and fled away.

“I’ve never seen a gun before, and I remember my heart stopped.”

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Before they fled, Jane says the man in the driver’s seat looked at the phone in her hands, appearing worried she would call or was recording the interaction.

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“I remember saying, ‘I’m not going to do anything, I’m not going to do anything,'” she said. “He was looking at me almost nervous and scared himself.

“Instead of reversing out of the spot, he actually jerked forward and almost hit the wall in front of him. So it seemed like they were pretty nervous themselves. And then they reversed and sped away.”

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Jane then went back to the stairwell and called 911, her car still in sight as the carjackers moved down the parkade towards the exit 10 floors down.

During the 20 minutes it took for officers to arrive, she says she urged the dispatcher on the phone to hurry before the thieves got to the bottom floor.

“I was very frantic, I remember on the phone, being like, ‘They’re still in the parkade, there’s no way they’ve gotten all the way down, they haven’t exited,'” she said.

“It didn’t seem like they got there fast enough, in the timeframe they needed.”

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RCMP say officers did everything they could to respond to the incident as quickly as possible, and are working to bring the culprits to justice.

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“We want the public to know we are out and about, we are looking for this vehicle and we want to know who these suspects are,” said Cpl. Chris Manseau with the B.C. RCMP.

After giving her statement to police, Jane spent the night in a state of fear. The thieves now had her house keys and driver’s licence, making her worried they’d visit her home.

“I remember feeling very unsafe, even in my own home, and that’s never been, like … that’s a very unfamiliar feeling,” she said.

“I didn’t sleep, I had to keep the light on the entire night. I’m still shocked.”

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That feeling of unease has also extended to campus.

“I’ve never felt unsafe on campus until last night,” she said. “I just feel like I can’t walk alone anywhere now. It terrifies me.”

Jane’s belongings were later found by passersby near campus, she said, but she has yet to hear an update on the whereabouts of her car.

Police say no arrests have been made yet.

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The vehicle that has been reported stolen is a grey 2007 Kia Spectra with the B.C. licence plate 308 PSG.

READ MORE: ‘Suspicious person’ at UBC was teen with a B.B. gun: Mounties

Police, meanwhile, have released descriptions of the two suspects.

The first suspect is described as a man who stands six feet tall, has a slim build and was wearing a grey hoodie and black jogging pants at the time. Police say he was carrying a palm-sized black handgun.

The second suspect is described as a darker-skinned man wearing a dark-coloured, long-sleeved shirt.

Jane says if she ever gets her car back, she’ll never again park it in a place where she has to travel to alone.

“I’m always going to be on edge now,” she said. “It’s going to be a long time for me to feel safe there again.”

— With files from Jordan Armstrong and Gord Macdonald

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