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St. Petersburg woman, 80, kidnapped and held prisoner in trunk

This image from surveillance video shows the robbery at the Exxon on Cleveland Street in Clearwater. The robbers also held a woman in the trunk of her car for hours before releasing her.

Clearwater Police Department

This image from surveillance video shows the robbery at the Exxon on Cleveland Street in Clearwater. The robbers also held a woman in the trunk of her car for hours before releasing her.

CLEARWATER — An 80-year-old woman was kidnapped at gunpoint Friday morning, but that was just the start of Hazel Mead's ordeal.

A man and a woman, both armed, tied up Mead and held her prisoner in the trunk of her car for hours while they drove around, authorities said. They made several stops, including one to rob a Clearwater gas station.

Then they let Mead out of the trunk, untied her and ran away. She was hospitalized with minor injuries and later released.

"It was a heck of an ordeal," said Mike Ahlschwede of Lakeland, Mead's nephew. "We're just thankful that they didn't do any more to her. She's going to be okay. She's just shook up."

Police reported no arrests.

Mead's ordeal started at 9:10 a.m. when she was approached by a man and a woman as she stood outside her home on the 5500 block of 24th Avenue N. The man wore a dark shirt over his face, while the woman wore a pink mask.

They stuffed Mead into the trunk of her 2002 Mercury Grand Marquis and drove around for nearly three hours, then robbed an Exxon gas station at 1285 Cleveland St. Both entered the gas station wearing masks and wielding guns.

After the pair let her go, Mead got into her car and drove to a gas station on Gulf-to-Bay Boulevard. She was taken to a local hospital for minor injuries. She'll be staying with family members for a few days, Ahlschwede said.

NEED YOUR HELP

Whom to contact

Anyone with information should contact Clearwater police at (727) 562-4242 or St. Petersburg police at (727) 893-7179.

St. Petersburg woman, 80, kidnapped and held prisoner in trunk 07/17/09 [Last modified: Friday, July 17, 2009 11:18pm]
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