MEMPHIS, Tenn. — Police say a a 21-year-old zoo employee who had just arrived for work was carjacked at the Memphis Zoo parking lot Sunday morning.
Investigators say she was sitting in her car with the windows down around 7:30 when a man came up and asked to use her phone.
She refused, and he lifted a rock in the air and threatened to beat her if she didn’t get out of the vehicle. She complied but was able to hold on to her phone while running away.
Police say the man jumped in her car and sped off.
“You wouldn’t want that to happen to anybody,” said Sue Arlotta, who works in the gift shop. “I mean, I’m a supervisor and so sometimes the last person to leave the store. I never gave it a second thought just walking out on my own but now, you know, I think the buddy system is a good idea.”
Police later found the woman’s car abandoned in Northeast Memphis near I-40 and Sycamore View. Zoo officials say they’re working with private security and Memphis Police to increase patrols in the parking lot.
“You know, this is a great place to work,” Arlotta said, “It’s a real family atmosphere. They really take care of their employees. They act fast.”
Police are still looking for the carjacker and hope surveillance video of the incident will help them make an arrest. Officers did question a person of interest but they say that person was ultimately released.