SCRANTON -- A frightening report of a carjacking in Scranton last week has led to the family of the alleged victim taking action. They're offering a $5,000 reward to catch the crook.
Police are investigating that carjacking from a week ago, that detectives say is unusual in Scranton and Monday we heard an alarming account of what happened from a family member of the 24-year-old alleged victim. That family member is putting his money on the line, hoping it will help catch the person responsible.
Vincent Simon from Scranton says it's been seven days of sleepless nights, stress, and scrambling to get together $5,000.
"We scraped together every penny we could. If I could make this ten times as much money I would have. I took my automobile to a local finance company and I asked them to give me the money," Simon said.
Simon is a relative of a 24-year-old woman who says she was the victim of a carjacking that police call one of the more bizarre cases they've seen in years.
Here is what detectives say happened: the young woman was getting out of her car in front of her house on Willow Street last Monday night when she was approached by a man with a gun. The man put the gun to her head, forced into the car, and drove her to a nearby alleyway.
It was there, Simon told us, that the man asked his relative to take over her clothes and he put on a pair of rubber gloves. The gun was still pointed at her but she put up a fight. She was able to throw herself from the car while the man drove away.
"I think she's lucky she knew when to be passive and when to know she was in mortal danger, and that's when she knew to try to free herself. I believe that's the only reason she's alive."
Simon, the victim, and other family members are still shaken by what happened so they decided to put up a $5,000 reward for information on the man who's responsible. Simon says it'll help bring them closure and hopefully help the police investigation that already has some leads.
Police say they found the victim's car at Valley View apartments in South Scranton, more than a mile away from her home. Detectives collected evidence from the car and Simon hopes the reward leads them to a suspect.
To help jog someone's memory of something they saw that they didn't think anything of at the time, or if there's somebody who knows this person who doesn't like him enough as much as they like $5,000."
Police have a description of the man they're looking for. He described as heavy-set black man, about 5' 10", with a beard and wearing dark clothing. The reward is being offered for information that leads to an arrest anyone with information is asking to call the Scranton police detective's unit.