The California Highway Patrol and Santa Rosa police caught and arrested a carjacking suspect in Santa Rosa on Monday evening, a police sergeant said. The female driver had just entered her 2009 Honda Odyssey and started the engine in the 2700 block of Yulupa Avenue around 7 p.m. when the suspect approached the open driver’s side door, Sgt. Marcus Sprague said. The suspect pulled the woman out of the vehicle, wrestled her to the ground, got her car keys and drove away, Sprague said.
Santa Rosa police searched the area but didn’t locate the vehicle. At 8 p.m., police officers responded to a hit-and-run in the 1000 block of Stanislaus Avenue and to another hit-and-run five minutes later at West College Avenue and Fulton Road, Sprague said. Police determined the stolen Honda was the vehicle that fled in both incidents, Sprague said.
Officers updated information about the suspect and alerted other law enforcement agencies. The CHP responded around 8:50 p.m. to a report of a vehicle in a ditch on Occidental Road near state Highway 116, Sprague said. The driver tried to flee but struck a light pole with the vehicle. He tried to flee on foot but CHP officers arrested him and identified him as Joseph Angelo Lopez, 23, of Petaluma, according to Sprague.
After the CHP notified Santa Rosa police of the arrest, the Honda was recovered and Lopez was identified as the carjacking suspect, Sprague said. Lopez was arrested and booked into Sonoma County Jail on suspicion of carjacking, vehicle theft with a prior vehicle theft conviction, and violation of probation, Sprague said.
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