Authorities arrest man with possible connection to Hillcrest carjacking

Posted at 11:07 AM, Apr 06, 2018
and last updated 2018-04-08 09:24:40-04

SAN DIEGO (KGTV) - San Diego Sheriffs deputies detained a man in Lemon Grove this afternoon, who may be connected to an early morning carjacking.

It was supposed to be a routine check-up. 

A 76-year-old woman was going in for a 7 a.m. eye appointment at a medical office on the 3900 block of Fourth Avenue in Hillcrest.

But she never made it.

“The man with the gun pointed it at the woman, so I guess it was just taking place, and she scrammed out of there and called 911," a woman named Nancy said. She said her friend witnessed the carjacking happen from across the parking structure.

San Diego Police detectives said a shorter, thin, Hispanic man with short hair approached the grandmother, pointed a gun at her face, stole her purse, and drove off in her gray Mazda 3.

Officers notified all nearby agencies to search for that car.

Then at 9:45 a.m., the car was found on Lemon Grove Way in Lemon Grove. 

But it was in bad condition. 

“A few hours later, the Diego Sheriffs Department responded to a hit-and-run that involved that very vehicle, the victim’s vehicle," Lt. Andrew Hoffman of the San Diego Police Department said. 

Witnesses said the driver of the Mazda 3 hit a parked red Honda Civic, veered into a pole, then ran away.

For two hours, investigators set up a perimeter of the area and used a helicopter to look for the car-jacking and hit-and-run suspect. But they came up empty.

Then at 2 p.m., detectives did a secondary search of the apartment complex.

That is when one of the deputies recognized a wanted man and arrested him. 

“I guess the guy walked out of the apartment, the other officer saw him from the back of the cop car, must have recognized him," witness Floyd Bloom said. "So that’s when they yanked him out of the car. But he reached for the officer’s taser and his gun. And so they tased him.”

San Diego sheriffs deputies said the man they detained is a tall, thin Caucasian man, who was possibly wearing a disguise.

Detectives said a curly, black-haired wig fell off of the man during his struggle with police. They also found a rifle and ammunition in the back of his trunk.

San Diego County Sheriffs deputies detained the man, then handed him over to the San Diego Police department. Neither department has announced whether the man in custody is connected to the early morning carjacking.