Investigators are searching for a man accused of beating and nearly stabbing a victim in a violent carjacking in Santee after which the suspect casually stopped for food – and paid for his orders using a credit card, also stolen from his victim.
On July 27, at around 5 p.m., the suspect walked up to a man who was sitting inside a parked car near a Walmart located at 170 Town Center Parkway. The suspect was armed with a 4 to 6-inch, straight-bladed, military-style knife, according to the San Diego County Sheriff’s Department (SDSO).
He punched the victim and told him to give him his car. SDSO investigators said the suspect then lunged at the victim several times, trying to stab him.
The victim managed to get out of the car and escape; the suspect drove away in the victim’s stolen car. He was last seen heading southbound on Town Center Parkway, toward Mission Gorge Road.
The SDSO said the suspect also stole the victim’s debit card. He later used it to buy food at two San Diego restaurants: a Jack in the Box located at 4751 El Cajon Boulevard, and a Santa Ana Fresh Mexican Food Restaurant at 4909 El Cajon Boulevard. Surveillance cameras captured images of the suspect using the stolen debit card at those eateries.
One day after the carjacking – on July 28 – the victim’s stolen car was recovered in San Diego’s Mid-City area, investigators said.
The suspect, however, was nowhere to be found. One month later, he remains at large.
On Wednesday, the sheriff’s department released a few key elements in the case: two photos from his food run with the stolen debit card and a composite sketch detailing his appearance.
Investigators are hoping someone recognizes the suspect and contacts the SDSO with that information. The man is described as being between 25 and 35 years old, 5-foot-10 to 6 feet tall, and weighing about 180 pounds.
He was clean-shaven with tattoos on both arms. As the restaurant surveillance images show, he was last seen wearing a black hat, sunglasses, a dark-colored shirt and possibly dark-colored Dickies-style pants.
The investigation is ongoing. Anyone with information can reach out to the Santee SDSO station at (619) 956-4000 or the Crime Stoppers anonymous tip line at (888) 580-8477.