Shoppers and retail workers are expressing concerns after a woman was dragged out of her vehicle in a Dartmouth parking lot early Thursday.

Police responded to the Costco parking lot on Country View Drive around 4 a.m.

They say a store employee had been sitting in her vehicle while waiting for her shift to start when a man pulled the door open and dragged her out.

The woman screamed and the man fled the scene. He did not take anything.

Police and a K9 unit searched the area but failed to locate the suspect.

“I think it’s extremely scary,” says shopper Amber Pelton. “You don’t expect it to happen and you think you’re safe, and you’re in your own vehicle.”

Police also find the incident disturbing as it appears to be random. They say the victim and attacker aren’t known to one another, and there is no apparent motive for the attack.

“Officers are canvassing the area in Dartmouth Crossing and attempting to retrieve video surveillance from other stores,” says Halifax Regional Police Const. Pierre Bourdages.

With round-the-clock shifts in the area, Bourdages says employees should keep their cars locked at all times and look around carefully before getting out.

He also says to notify police about anything suspicious.  

Police are still looking for a suspect, who is described as a tall, heavy-set black man between the ages of 20 and 30. He was wearing a winter coat, gloves and a toque at the time of the incident.

Police are asking anyone with information to come forward.

With files from CTV Atlantic's Ron Shaw