COLUMBUS GROVE — Putnam County authorities hope to locate a man who allegedly forced a woman to drive him north on state Route 65 before taking her vehicle and her money.
The incident started Saturday night at the Dollar General store in Columbus Grove, according to the Putnam County Sheriff’s Office.
A male later identified as James M. Phillips took Addie Kiene by gunpoint and made her drive him towards Ottawa in her red 2013 Hyundai Sonota with Ohio license plate HAS4067.
Kiene reported on Facebook on Saturday night she went to Dollar General in Columbus Grove to return a Redbox DVD and grab some things in the store. While returning the movie, she noticed a man standing along the building. She wrote she didn’t think anything of it and walked past him to get into the store.
She said he was in all black, so she assumed he was a worker on break. After being in the store for five minutes, she went back to her car. Before she could get into the car, the man approached her. He asked for a ride and after saying no, he pulled a gun on her and told her she had no choice now.
“I tried to just give him my car and money, but he demanded that I drive him. At this point he had taken my phone so that I couldn’t call the cops, so with the gun pointed at me we got in the car and started to drive north on 65,” she wrote on Facebook.
Somewhere between Columbus Grove and Ottawa, he threw her phone out the window.
“I tried to stay as calm as possible and just started talking to him. He told me where he was from and where he was headed,” she wrote.
She wrote he also told her he was a Christian and reassured her that she would go home if she just listened to him and drove him where he needed to go.
She mentioned that she lived at home, and her dad would be wondering where she was because he knew she was running uptown to the store. He then put the gun to her head and told her to pull over, get out and not to do anything stupid. She wrote that she pulled over on a side road on Road 9-K and got out of the car.
He handed Kiene her purse and told her to give him all the money she had with her. He took the money, told her to stand in the middle of the road until he was gone and drove away. Kiene was able to flag down a passerby on state Route 65 for help.
A warrant was issued for Phillips. He is armed and considered dangerous. He is believed to be in the Toledo area. If anyone has any information about his whereabouts, contact the Putnam County Sheriff’s Office at 419-523-3208.