Carjacking an Unmarked Car from an Off-Duty Officer – ASTREA Pursuit Ensues
SANTEE – A three-hour stolen-vehicle tracking operation occurred on the night of April 13th. At nearly 9 P.M., on the 10000 block of Woodside Avenue, an unmarked pickup truck was targeted for a carjackiing.
Just as an off-duty El Cajon Police Officer was leaving a parking lot – a man opened the passenger door, entered the cab and started yelling incoherently at the driver. “At some point, both parties got out of the truck,” said Sergeant Michael Gonzales of San Diego County Sheriff’s Department – Santee, “and the carjacker was able to get behind the wheel and drive away.”
An aerial pursuit was deployed, with the Aerial Support to Regional Enforcement Agencies (AESTRA) helicopter blanketing the area with heat-seeking night-vision. Its overhead infrared capabilities were in full swing, but the truck managed to vanish.
The area-search continued, as ground support from Santee Sheriff’s Station Deputies, El Cajon Police Officers, and the Sheriff’s team-up with ASTREA in the air remained undeterred. They blanketed the territory, but the truck remained elusive.
Three hours later, the truck and scofflaw driver were spotted in Lakeside. Just before midnight, “the driver led deputies and officers on a vehicle pursuit to Chula Vista,” said Sergeant Michael Gonzales, “where the truck crashed into a fire hydrant in the 2000 block of Birch Road.”
David Alejandro Felix (DOB 03/14/93) who’d suffered minor injuries from the crash, was taken into custody. He’s been booked at San Diego Central Jail on charges of carjacking, assault on a peace officer, car theft, possessing a stolen vehicle and felony evading.
And a successful side note brings another sigh of relief for the protection of the community-at-large: All firearms and police equipment in the truck were recovered.