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Police recover backpack of UCSC woman who was shot in the head; getaway car was a Chevrolet HHR, according surveillance photos
[February 14, 2013]

Police recover backpack of UCSC woman who was shot in the head; getaway car was a Chevrolet HHR, according surveillance photos

SANTA CRUZ, Feb 14, 2013 (Santa Cruz Sentinel - McClatchy-Tribune Information Services via COMTEX) -- A white or silver Chevrolet HHR was the getaway car in the shooting and robbery of a UC Santa Cruz student this week, not a Chrysler PT Cruiser, according to new surveillance footage.

Santa Cruz Deputy Police Chief Steve Clark said Thursday that police obtained the footage of the suspected Chevrolet HHR during a recovery of the woman's backpack.

The trail of clues started Tuesday night when a school maintenance worker found the UCSC student's backpack in a trash bin near Benito Avenue and Water Street in Santa Cruz, Clark said.

The worker did not know the backpack belonged to the girl, but he thought it was suspicious and gave it to police.

Police contacted a nearby business and received surveillance that showed a white or silver Chevrolet HHR near the trash bin shortly after Monday night's robbery.

The four-door Chevrolet HHR looks similar to a Chrysler PT Cruiser that the victim had described.

Chevrolet HRR image source -- Wikipedia "It shows a car associated with leaving the backpack," Clark said. Police declined to say if any suspects were visible in the video.

Police wanted the public to know the updated car description in case it is spotted. Police said the backpack found in the trash bin did not contain a laptop and wallet that had been inside it.

Authorities processed the backpack for evidence, Clark said.

Police have been trying to find the gunman since the near fatal robbery Monday night.

About 7:30 p.m. Monday, a 21-year-old UCSC student was waiting at a bus stop on Natural Bridges Drive when she was shot in the head and robbed of her backpack. She said she saw a white PT Cruiser pass her twice and park before the robbery.

A surgeon removed a bullet from her head Monday night, but she left a hospital Wednesday and is expected to recover fully.

The suspect was described as a light-skinned man who appeared about 5 feet 7 inches tall with a medium build. Police released a composite sketch of the man this week.

Police are continue to investigate whether Wednesday night's robbery of the Food Bin on Mission Street had connections to the robbery of the UCSC student.

Santa Cruz police ask anyone with information to call investigations at 831-420-5820, the anonymous tip line at 831-420-5995 or leave a tip at or by the mobile application at

Follow Sentinel reporter Stephen Baxter on Twitter at ___ (c)2013 the Santa Cruz Sentinel (Scotts Valley, Calif.) Visit the Santa Cruz Sentinel (Scotts Valley, Calif.) at Distributed by MCT Information Services

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