Two thieves with a shotgun terrorized several drivers early Wednesday, firing several shots in their direction but causing no injuries, during a carjacking spree in northern San Diego and southern Riverside counties.
The spate of crimes began about 4 a.m., when a tow truck driver who had just repossessed a vehicle in Escondido noticed two black late-1990s-model cars, an Acura Integra and a Honda Civic, following him as he headed west on Gopher Canyon Road near Interstate 15, according to San Diego Sheriff‘s officials.
In the area of Vista Valley Drive, the Civic passed the truck and slowed abruptly, forcing the tow truck driver to hit his brakes, Detective James Balderson said. The Acura then pulled in behind the trucker, boxing him in and forcing him to stop.
The driver of the Honda then got out with a shotgun in his hands, racked a round into the chamber and pointed the weapon at the tow driver. The victim responded by spinning his steering wheel around, stepping on the gas and speeding off, hearing a gunshot behind him as he fled, Balderson said.
As the victim approached East Vista Way, one of the bandits raced up from behind in the Acura and passed him at about 80 mph before losing control, sending the Integra into a roadside ditch and allowing the victim to escape.
A short time later, a 42-year-old woman driving a Dodge Neon came upon the scene of the crash and stopped to see if anyone needed help.
After pulling over, she saw one man walking from the damaged vehicle and another exiting the nearby parked Civic, carrying a shotgun. The thieves ordered her out of her car and fled, one of them driving the Neon and other driving the Civic.
The latter vehicle was later found abandoned near the intersection of state Route 76 and Olive Hill Road in Bonsall, Balderson said.
At about 5:30 a.m., the two men arrived at a park-and-ride lot in Temecula in the Neon, now accompanied by a woman, and attempted yet another carjacking, this time targeting the driver of a truck.
Instead of turning over his vehicle, the victim used it to ram the Neon, at which point one of the bandits fired two gunshots toward him as he sped off, unscathed.
The two thieves — described as being in their 20s, one with a mustache and other with chin whiskers — and their female cohort remained at large as of late this afternoon.
— City News Service
>> Subscribe to Times of San Diego’s free daily email newsletter! Click hereFollow Us: