Police arrested a Pittsburg resident on suspicion of stealing a car from a man in Vacaville this morning, police said. Officers arrested Mario S. Avilia, 27, on suspicion of carjacking and possession of a stolen vehicle, according to Vacaville police. Just after 9 a.m., police responded to a report from a man who said his car had just been stolen at a Chevron gas station, located at 901 Mason St. in Vacaville. The man was inside the gas station when he reportedly saw someone get into his car, police said.
The man ran out of the store and tried to stop the suspect, who police later identified as Avilia, from taking his car. A struggle ensued, and police said Avilia struck the victim, drove through some landscaping, and fled the scene in the victim’s car. Vacaville police broadcast a description of the suspect, and police said California Highway Patrol officers stopped the stolen vehicle on Interstate Highway 80 near the Interstate Highway 680 interchange.
The victim sustained minor injuries and was transported to a local hospital, police said. An investigation revealed that Avilia had abandoned a vehicle that was parked across the street from the gas station prior to the carjacking, police said. He had stolen that car from a car dealership, but police said he ditched it when the car had mechanical issues. Police booked Avilia in the Solano County Jail.
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