Elderly man carjacked helping stranger

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OKLAHOMA CITY -- An elderly man on the way to the mall stops to help a stranger but ended up with a knife in his face and no car.

Joe Ralls drives to Crossroads Mall everyday to walk.

While on his way Thursday, he saw a man walking in a residential neighborhood in the afternoon heat.

He offered to give him a lift.

Little did he know, the man was armed and plotting to steal his car.

"He said, 'Give me your wallet or I'll kill you,'" Ralls said.

It all started at the intersection of 27th St. and Eastern Ave. just before 2 p.m.

"He said, 'I'm looking for yards to mow.' I told him I was going up to Crossroads Mall and I can take him that far," Ralls said.

They chatted the whole two miles it took to get to the mall.

When they entered the parking lot the man's demeanor changed.

"He pulled a switch blade about five or six inches and said, 'Give me all your money,'" Ralls said.

After having the knife shoved in his face, Ralls planned his escape.

He said, "I jumped out real fast. He didn't have a chance or time to cut me."

The suspect crawled behind the wheel and headed west towards I-35.

"This is an example of what can happen when you do let a stranger inside of your vehicle," OKC Police Sgt. Jennifer Wardlow said. "It doesn't matter who you are; man, woman, old, young, it is never a good idea to pick up someone along the side of the road.

Ralls is disappointed he can no longer just be a nice guy.

He said, "I figured I would learn my lesson one of these days."

The stolen vehicle is a 2007 silver two-door Chevy Cobolt with the Oklahoma tag 014-ABS.

It has a St. Louis Cardinals tag in the front and similar Cardinals decal inside.

Anyone with information is asked to call Oklahoma City Police.


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