Sunday, April 28, 2013

Gas station employee kidnapped during shift, public outraged over no cameras

Gas station employee kidnapped during shift, public outraged over no cameras, The Norton Shores Police Department has classified the investigation of a missing Michigan woman as a kidnapping on Sunday.

Jessica Heeringa, 25, from Muskegon, Mich. was working at the Exxon Mobil gas station in Norton Shores, Mich. when she went missing during her shift on Friday night.

Jessica made a transaction on the register at the Exxon Mobile gas station on 1196 E. Sternberg Road around 10:55 p.m. on April 26. When a customer entered the station shortly after there was no one there. The customer called 911 at 11:15 p.m. According to the website, the Sternberg Exxon is open till 11:30 p.m. on Friday nights.

Authorities called her family and friends and no one had seen her. By Saturday afternoon she still had not been located, reports Michigan Live.

Jessica left her belongings behind at the station and there was no money taken from the till.

"My beautiful granddaughter was kidnapped from her place of employment last night in Muskegon. Please, please help us find her," posted Diane Homrich on Facebook. "We need to find her, she has a little boy who needs her. Please help."

Based on tips received by a witness the authorities want to talk to the owner of a silver minivan, possibly a Chrysler Town and Country that was parked near the gas station and was seen driving away.

The driver was a white male around 30-40 years old and 6 feet tall with a medium build. He had light brown wavy hair that was parted in the middle and slightly longer on top. He was wearing a bright red or orange sweatshirt, police said. They have made a composite sketch of the suspect but police are "not confident" in releasing it yet, reported Wood TV.

The police stated they have talked with four persons of interest but they have all been cleared.

The Norton Shores Police Department confirmed that there were no security cameras at the gas station.

Social media sites are full of criticism for the Exxon Corporation for not having cameras in the gas station and for only having one employee working, while others are blaming the owner of the station.

"It seems incredible to me that there are people criticizing those who question the lack of cameras. The reason for cameras are twofold. One is the deterrent value of cameras in the first place. The other is the apprehension value of cameras. Most people would place more value on the lives of employees than on the profits of their employers." posted Charles N on the Michigan Live website.

"Surveillance cameras are an appropriate security measure for a gas station where one person works after dark. There are probably other security measures which could have been installed, had the owner of this business cared about the safety of employees. Now something really horrible has happened, it seems, and we don't have a clue as to how we can help. Will the owner of this establishment be answering any questions publicly?" posted RW on the Michigan Live website.

"I find it appalling that the store owners haven't offered the family an apology, nor have they put up any reward money. I am personally putting up a $500 reward for any information leading up to an arrest in this case, and will be accepting donations at Deuces Wild Smoke Shop to assist the family in filing a property liability suit against the owners of Exxon gas station for their lack of security," Derek Antol posted on Facebook.

Jessica is 5'1" tall, 110 pounds with blonde hair and blue eyes. She sometimes wears wired rim glasses. She may be wearing a blue-collared shirt with "Sternberg Exxon" on it.

If you know her whereabouts or were at the Exxon Friday evening, please contact the Silent Observer at 231-722-7463.

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