A kidnapper might still be on the loose with a young girl if not for the keen senses of a Target loss prevention employee.
The employee, Roxanna Ramirez, noticed 43-year-old David Douglas acting strangely in her Antioch, California Target recently.
"He was just fidgeting around. I wasn't getting a good vibe off of him," Ramirez said.
Ramirez followed the man around the store before going into the office to watch him on surveillance cameras. There, she says she saw Douglas leave the store and continue acting strangely in the parking lot.
"At one point I seen him grab onto his steering wheel and start to shake it like if something was wrong with him. So that's when I thought, 'OK, there's something wrong with this guy. He's not all there,'" she said.
For good measure, she wrote down the license plate number on Douglas’ car.
The evening news grabbed her attention later that night. An Amber alert had been put out for a 7-year-old girl. The face and car of the suspected kidnapper matched that of the man she’d seen in the store earlier. She called police immediately and read them the license plate number she’d jotted down.
45 minutes later, the girl was found. Antioch police say Ramirez’s tip was the key to tracking down Douglas.
“...once we knew who he was,” Antioch police chief Tammany Brooks said “we were able to learn additional information which gave us the wherewithal to go out and look for him at the Antioch Marina because we had information that's where he liked to frequent.”
Once in jail, Douglas gave a strangely honest interview with ABC in which he calmly explained his actions and cried when apologizing to the child’s family. Douglas said he needed to kidnap the child as part of an elaborate scheme to evade the government -- which he believes is watching his every move. He denies having any mental illness.
“I actually just walked up to her and she came with me relatively easy, I mean, I appeared to be someone who could be familiar to her, you know, with her ethnicity,” Douglas said. “So I just sort of put my hands out, and she was kind of startled but she put her hand out and she just, kind of, came with me. And then she turned back and said, "mommy" after we were already getting (in) the car. And that's when her mom came and was alarmed. And I had to kind of hurry up and scoot her out of there.
“I got her in the car, she said she was scared. She said, ‘I'm scared’ I said, ‘I know, I'm scared too.’ We were both shaken up for about an hour; it took us both to calm down,” he said. Douglas concluded the interview by apologizing and calling the ordeal “just a bizarre situation that I really need to get out of desperately.”