Elderly Florida Man, 88, Carjacked at Gunpoint While Going to Buy His Wife New Pajamas for Mother's Day

An elderly Florida man is recovering at home after being carjacked at gunpoint while he was shopping for a Mother's Day gift for his wife.

Robert Rodriguez, 88, was targeted by an assailant at roughly 3:20 p.m. on May 9 while exiting his vehicle in the parking lot of a Bealls store in New Port Richey. A man held a gun to his side and demanded his wallet before pushing him to the ground and stealing his car keys.

The victim was left with bruising on his leg and left elbow. The attacker took his vehicle and fled from the parking lot, the Pasco Sheriff's Office said in a statement last Friday.

Rodriguez told media outlet WFTS-TV: "I was still in the car when this guy appeared from someplace and put a gun in my side and asked for my wallet. I pretended I didn't understand. Finally, he told me to get out of the car, 'give me your keys, give me your keys.'"

The victim said he had gone to the retail outlet intending to buy a pair of pajamas for his wife for Mother's Day. Undeterred, he went back and purchased them the next day.

According to the Florida police department, the suspect was described by Rodriguez as a light-skinned black or Hispanic male in his 40s to 50s, 5'6"-5'7" tall, approximately 160 pounds and wearing all black clothing and sunglasses. He was clean-shaven with short hair.

The car belonging to Rodriguez was later found less than one mile south of Bealls. A witness spotted a man leaving the vehicle who matched the description provided by Rodriguez.

"The witness recognized the driver as a black male whose name is possibly Allen," police said. "This subject may also be known as or referred to as 'Killa' or 'Killer.'" On social media, the department posted an image of the man's car at the scene where it had been discarded.

Rodriguez told WFTS-TV he was thankful that the situation did not escalate further. "He could have shot me," he reflected. He also revealed that his wife of 64 years had scolded him after the incident by saying: "You [have] got to be more careful."

Last month, a Florida woman confronted a man who was trying to break into her car outside her apartment in Gainesville. Clarese Gainey, age 65, hit a man later identified as Antonio Mosely on the head with a baseball bat. "He better be glad I didn't have a gun," Gainey told WGFL. The culprit fled the scene but was recovered by police and positively identified—in part by his fresh injury.

The New Port Richey investigation remains ongoing. If you have information about the case you can contact Pasco Sheriff's Office at 1-800-706-2488 and reference case number #19-019309.

Elderly Florida Man, 88, Carjacked at Gunpoint While Going to Buy His Wife New Pajamas for Mother's Day | U.S.