CLEARWATER — Police are searching for a man they said pointed a gun at a woman and her two children in an attempt to steal their car in the Countryside Mall parking lot Sunday.
About 1 p.m. Sunday, a 24-year-old woman and her two children, a 4-year-old girl and an 18-month-old boy, had just arrived at the mall parking lot between JCPenney and Macy's when they were approached by an armed man who pointed a silver or chrome handgun and demanded she hand over her black Volvo, police said.
"He pulled the slide back on the gun as he made his demands," police wrote in a news release. "The woman pleaded with him not to take her car or hurt her as she was with her two preschool-aged children." One child was seated in a stroller.
When another car pulled into a nearby parking space, the gunman ran away on Countryside Boulevard.
Police said the man is in his mid 20s, stands between 5-feet-5 and 5-feet-9 and was clean-shaven with short black hair. He was last seen wearing a baggy white polo shirt with green and blue horizontal stripes and dark jeans. He was also carrying a dark shoulder bag, police said.
Surveillance video at the mall did not capture the attempted robbery, but it showed images of the man inside the mall before the incident.
Anyone with information can call the Clearwater Police Department at (727) 562-4242.
Contact Laura C. Morel at [email protected] or (727) 445-4157.