A man suspected of carrying out an armed holdup and carjacking in a Hillcrest parking lot today crashed the stolen sedan hours later in the East County and then fled on foot, escaping into the neighborhood before authorities could catch up to him.
The 75-year-old owner of the gray 2016 Mazda 3 had just parked it in the 3900 block of Fourth Avenue in San Diego when the thief confronted her, displayed a pistol and demanded her purse about 7 a.m., according to police.
The robber then grabbed the victim's handbag and walked away toward her car, SDPD Sgt. Robert Hawkins said. The woman hurried off in the opposite direction to call for help, hearing her vehicle being started and driven out of the area as she fled.
About 9:45 a.m., the stolen sedan was involved in a three-vehicle collision in the 8100 block of Lemon Grove Way in Lemon Grove, Hawkins said. Following the wreck, the unidentified man behind the wheel of the Mazda jumped out and ran away.
Sheriff's personnel notified San Diego police, who dispatched officers to search the neighborhood and surround an apartment building where the suspect was believed to possibly have holed up, Hawkins said.
Officers tried in vain for several hours to locate the man before calling off the effort in the early afternoon. No injuries were reported.
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