HARRISBURG, Pa. (WHTM) – Police have arrested a man who allegedly tried to steal from the Walmart store in Swatara Township and made his getaway by carjacking a woman in the parking lot.
Michael Ortiz, 45, of Harrisburg, surrendered on Sunday and was jailed in the Dauphin County Prison on $100,000 bail, Swatara Township police said.
He’s charged with felony counts of robbery and kidnapping, as well as misdemeanor counts of unlawful restraint, terroristic threats, and retail theft. A preliminary hearing is scheduled for Oct. 26.
Authorities said Ortiz fled the Walmart after his theft attempt just before noon Friday. 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 what he said.
When the car reached a red light at the intersection of Grayson and Mushroom Hill Road, however, the female passenger exited the car, pulled her handgun, and demanded that Ortiz get out, police said.
Neither woman was harmed.
Authorities said the woman passenger was a legal gun owner and had a permit for concealed carry.