Teen carjacked, car held for ransom in Winston-Salem

WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. -- A Winston-Salem teenager is warning others after she was forced to give up her car keys.

When 16-year-old Maria Plaza pulled into the parking lot for work at Hill’s Lexington BBQ Saturday afternoon she didn’t know she was being watched.

“As soon as I pulled in I turned to the passenger seat to grab my apron and then when I turned around I saw him running towards the door,” Plaza said.

Surveillance video from the restaurant shows the moment the suspect spotted Plaza’s blue Ford Focus.

When he approached Plaza and asked for her keys, she refused.

“Once I said no, he got mad and he jumped on top of me inside of the car. Then he tried to snatch the keys away from me, but I wouldn’t let him so I started honking the horn to see if anybody could hear me,” Plaza said.

Unfortunately, no one heard Plaza’s plea for help.

The man snatched her keys, pushed Plaza out of the car and drove away.

Plaza and her family are concerned because important documents with personal information were in the car.

Miriam Granados, Plaza’s mother, says at this point the family does not feel safe.

On Monday, Plaza started receiving calls and texts from someone who claimed to have her car.

This man said he didn’t steal the car, but would come to her home and return it to her in exchange for money.

Winston-Salem police are investigating the incident and advised Plaza not to pay the man.

If you recognize the man in the surveillance video or Ford Focus please call police.

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