BJC hospital employee carjacked in parking garage; police searching for suspect

ST. LOUIS - The search continues for a suspect after Barnes Jewish hospital employee was carjacked and robbed.

It happened Wednesday morning at a parking garage near the hospital.

Barnes Jewish hospital public safety authorities issued an alert that the armed robbery and carjacking occurred here on the 4th floor at the Duncan Central garage around 11 a.m.

The SUV was later located abandoned leaving some employees concerned “It could have been anyone I just got here so it`s crazy,” said Erin Powell.

It was a bizarre scene at Barnes Jewish Hospital as authorities rushed to help a Barnes Jewish employee robbed in a parking garage.

We are told the suspect showed a woman a handgun and demanded she hand over her purse, and cell phone and keys to her SUV.

The stolen SUV was later found crashed at Taylor in the Central West End.

Our news crews talked with some nursing students and employees who use the garage daily.

They are shocked, “My friend was in the parking garage as it was happening. She was exiting out the back as everything was locked down in the front when I thought it was an accident but found out later what was going on,” said Powell.

After the crash, the suspect fled on foot.

Police searched by air and ground. Investigators tell us he was last seen heading toward the 4400 block of Laclede, in the Central West End.

Security has been increased in the area and those who use the garage say they are going to start taking extra safety precautions, “My dad warned me about this area and he told me to keep car locked and how to protect myself if anything were to happen. So, it`s sad.  I hope they can get justice for whatever was stolen,” said Sydney Craig.

The FBI, AFT, and U.S. Attorney`s office have been teaming up with the St. Louis police department to investigate and federally prosecute carjackings. This initiative started last October. Since then, 12 people have been indicted using federal carjacking charges in 4 separate cases in the city of St. Louis.

The victim in the carjacking was not injured.