A Morehouse College student was carjacked Tuesday morning after leaving a campus library in southwest Atlanta, five days after another student was ambushed while on a late night snack run.
Deaven Rector, 19, is a political science major at Morehouse and was studying in the library overnight. He left about 3:50 a.m. and drove to his off-campus apartment in the 900 block of Founders Drive, where he was held at gunpoint in the parking deck.
“After hours of studying, I thought that I was accomplished and ready for my midterm,” Rector told AJC.com. “I drove back home to my own apartment complex, to my own parking deck and to my own home, and the person came up to me. First thing he said was, ‘Would you like to buy weed?’”
The Los Angeles native turned him down. The man tried to sell him Xanax bars and alcohol, and Rector continued to refuse him. Then the man pulled out a gun and told Rector to get out of the car.
“As I rolled down the window, I told him, ‘I’m a college student, would you please not do this?’” he said. “It’s the last thing I need. I can barely afford the rent at the end of the month, the last thing I need is to have my car stolen, especially when I’m 3,000 miles away from home.”
Rector left all his belongings in the Toyota Corolla and stepped out. Before the man took off with his car, he demanded Rector’s cellphone password while pointing his gun at Rector a second time. The student reluctantly gave it to him.
He called 911 and, while waiting for police to arrive, tracked the location of his iPhone through an app.
“Stupidly, he only went down the street,” he said. Detectives found the Toyota in the 1000 block of Baldwin Street, about a quarter-mile away from Rector’s apartment. His phone and his wallet are still missing, he said.
Atlanta police are now comparing Rector’s case to that of another Morehouse student, 20-year-old Justin Clark, who was carjacked Thursday outside his apartment on Westview Drive after a fast-food study break.
Police never found Clark’s Chevrolet van, which he needed to get to a relative’s funeral in New Orleans. But an Atlanta Journal-Constitution reader saw his story shared on social media and stepped up to buy him a plane ticket.
“There are some similarities with the carjacking that we had in this area last week,” Atlanta police Capt. Reginald Moorman said Tuesday. “So we will be looking at both of those cases to determine, No. 1, if they are related and gain any information that we can combine to help us to locate this suspect and get this offender off the street.”
Both victims provided similar descriptions of the car thief to police, Moorman said. They described him as a tall, thin black man with gold-tipped dreadlocks and gold teeth, wearing a gold chain.
Rector and Clark live in the College Town neighborhood, which isn’t far from the Atlanta University Center.
“It’s no coincidence that it’s been two Morehouse students,” Rector said. “He’s targeting college students because he believes that potentially it will be safe for him, but we're smarter than you think. So he'll get what’s coming to him.”
Rector said growing up in a big city, he has seen crime but never been a victim of one. He called on the black community “to protect each other rather than brutally hurting each other.”
“He didn’t do it because he was in need,” he said. “It’s one thing to steal when you're in need. He did it because he believes this is what life is, which is clearly wrong.”
The complex where Rector’s car was found is gated, which Moorman said leads investigators to think the alleged thief may be a resident there.
They were canvassing the area Tuesday morning to look for witnesses to the crime.
—Please return to AJC.com for updates.
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