WICHITA, Kan. (KSNW) – Wichita police said a 33-year-old man was arrested after an attempted carjacking early Wednesday morning. It happened before 1 a.m. at the 37th and Rock Road QuikTrip.
Police arrived and learned two women, ages 18 and 19, were getting gas when they were approached by the 33-year-old man who said he escaped. The suspect was identified by police as Randy D. Sturgis, a convicted felon according to the Kansas Department of Corrections.
“They were approached by Sturgis who said he had escaped a federal prison and wanted a ride,” said officer Charley Davidson, Wichita Police Department. “Sturgis became agitated, stated he had a knife and grabbed the females attempting to place them in the vehicle.”
The two women refused to get inside the car, and both escaped and ran inside the store. They were not injured.
The suspect tried to escape in the car but was unsuccessful. He took a victim’s cell phone and fled on foot. Officers located him, and he was arrested.
“Through the investigation, it was learned that Sturgis walked away from the federal halfway house in the 3800 block of North Toben before the incident occurred,” said officer Davidson.
Sturgis was booked into the Sedgwick County Jail on suspicion of kidnapping, burglary, theft and interference with a law enforcement officer.
The incident is causing concern for some Wichita residents, “I worry cause I babysit my grand kids and I’m always fearful that if I don’t keep my eye on them things like that can happen to us. It just makes you fearful to be out in public,” said Kathy Kauffman.
Other residents are using the alleged incident as a remind to be cautious, “Pay attention to what’s going on around you. I mean, you can’t just be in your own world anymore. You gotta watch out for other people, as they watch out for you,” said Byron Richardson.
Court records indicate Sturgis had previously been convicted in a 2013 case in Sedgwick County on criminal possession of a firearm, theft and criminal threat. Back in 2017 when he was paroled on those charges, federal documents show that he was arrested for unlawful possession of a firearm with the serial number removed.
Police said the halfway house, Mirrors Inc., is the same location that Wade A. Dunn, a stabbing suspect walked away from last month. Dunn was arrested after he stabbed a woman multiple times at 17th and Doreen Streets. She was critically injured.
The case will be presented to the Sedgwick County District Attorney’s Office.
According to the Kansas Department of Corrections, Sturgis was convicted of theft, criminal possession of firearm; felon or drug offender and criminal threat.