Off-duty officer helps nab 5 carjacking suspects

Five suspects were arrested on suspicion of carjacking in Whittier December 3rd after an off-duty police  officer noticed their peculiar behavior and called the police.

Christel Garcia in a Facebook photo shows off her tatoos

35-year-old Ernesto Chavira of Bellflower, 22-year-old Eduardo Aguilar, Jr. of Lancaster, 35-year-old Christel Garcia of Whittier, 26-year-old Derek Bajhart of Whittier, and 21-year-old Alexander Jimenez of Whittier were all arrested after the suspects led officers on a chase that would eventually involve police from the surrounding area.

According to a Whittier Police Department press release, the suspects first encountered the off-duty officer at 2:45 AM when the officer noticed two suspicious looking vehicles as he was leaving work in the area of the 8300 block of Seranata Drive. As he began to report the vehicle’s license plate numbers to dispatchers, both cars started to follow the officer’s vehicle.

Derek Bajhart was one of the 5 arrested

Whittier Police immediately arrived on scene and were able to stop one of the vehicles near the 15300 block of Youngwood Drive and detain three of the suspects. The other two suspects stopped their car near the 8100 block of Villa Verde Drive and fled the vehicle on foot before hiding in some nearby bushes.

The first car to be stopped was on Youngwood Drive, where 3 of the suspects were arrested

Whittier Police contained the area, surrounding the remaining suspects, while also requesting aid from the LAPD air unit, and the K-9 units from Alhambra, La Habra, and Fullerton. The aid proved useful when shortly after their arrival, as the La Habra and Fullerton K-9 units captured the remaining suspects.

According to Whittier Police Department Community Relations Officer Brad White, the suspects were connected with a carjacking in unincorporated Whittier when one of their vehicle’s license plate numbers revealed it to be a stolen car. The suspect’s motive for following the officer has not yet been established.

2 of the suspects drove into this cul-de-sac and tried to escape on foot

They were each booked at the Whittier Police Department Jail for those carjacking charges pending arraignment. They are each being held on $100,000 bail.

Photos courtesy Facebook, Google Maps

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Off-duty officer helps nab 5 carjacking suspects was last modified: January 14th, 2019 by admin