HARRISBURG, Pa. (WHTM) – Police say they’re looking for a man who tried to steal from the Walmart store in Swatara Township and made his getaway by carjacking a woman in the parking lot.
Township police said they’re looking for 45-year-old Michael Ortiz. He’s charged with robbery of a motor vehicle, kidnapping, and multiple other offenses.
Authorities said Ortiz fled the Walmart after his theft attempt just before noon. As security officers chased him, he entered a woman’s car in the parking lot and demanded she drive him away from the store.
As they drove on Grayson Road, police said Ortiz threatened the woman and her passenger by claiming he had something that would give them HIV if they didn’t do as he said.
The tables turned, however, when the car reached a red light at the intersection of Grayson and Mushroom Hill Road. The female passenger exited the car, pulled her handgun, and demanded that Ortiz get out, police said.
Police said he could have been hit by the shot, but they don’t believe he was. He was last seen running toward the railroad property behind the Walmart.
Neither woman was harmed. They returned to the store to wait for police.
Several police departments with a helicopter and dogs were involved in the search for Ortiz throughout the afternoon.
Investigators said they identified him as the suspect after surveillance video showed him entering the store. The camera recorded the license plate number of the driver who dropped him off.
Authorities said he has previous convictions for violent robberies.
Anyone with information on his whereabouts is asked to call Swatara police at (717) 564-2550.