Updated 9:20 p.m. April 8, 2014, with new crime information, further description and photos.

Four people were victimized Tuesday afternoon during an East County crime spree that included a rash of carjackings believed to have been committed by the same gun-toting, heavily tattooed bandit.

The spree in the Spring Valley and Rancho San Diego areas began about noon, when a man threatened a worker at a smoke shop in the 9600 block of Jamacha Boulevard in Spring Valley and demanded his car keys, according to sheriff’s officials.

The thief took off in the victim’s car, Lt. Mike Munsey said. About a half-hour later, a similar-looking man pulled a gun on a victim and stole an SUV, and a third vehicle, a gold pickup truck, was taken from its owner at gunpoint in similar fashion about 12:45 p.m. on Sundale Road, the lieutenant said.

The suspect also is believed to have entered homes in the 2700 block of Lake Pointe Drive and the 1600 block of Sundale Road to steal car keys.

A fourth carjacking in the same general area was reported later in the afternoon, Munsey said. All of the cars were recovered.

Sheriffs officials released photos of the suspect at an evening news conference on the crimes, then posted them to Facebook.

Witness descriptions of the perpetrator, a bald, tattooed white man in his 30s, armed with a pistol, were similar in each of the cases, and investigators later obtained surveillance video of the suspect.  At least one of the carjackings occurred at the scene of a home invasion, Munsey said.

 – City News Service