Los Angeles: A Saturday night crime spree involving at least eight victims netted four arrests, three adults and one juvenile.
On Saturday, November 3, 2007, at around 11:10 p.m., a group of five suspects, 3 males and 2 females, assaulted and carjacked three victims in the 16900 block of Devonshire Street. The suspects drove off in one of the victim’s 1998 Nissan Altima.
Within minutes of the carjacking the same Nissan Altima was involved in a traffic collision near Lemarsh Street and Romar Street. The suspects ran from the location before police arrived. However, based on the condition of the vehicle and evidence at scene, it was clear that at least one of the suspects had sustained moderate to severe injuries in the crash.
At about 11:40 p.m., Devonshire officers received a radio call of a robbery and attempt carjacking in the 16800 block of Devonshire Street.
Two victims, sitting in the drive-through lane of a fast food restaurant were robbed by suspects matching the same description of the earlier carjacking, with an added description of a female suspect with a severe facial injury. The suspects simulated a handgun and robbed two victims of their wallets. As the suspects attempted to force their way into the car, the driver victim drove off, thwarting the carjack attempt.
Shortly afterward, at around 12:00 a.m., a third carjacking incident occurred when three victims at a gas station in the 14700 block of Devonshire Street were approached by suspects matching the description of the two previous carjack incidents, including the female suspect with a severe facial injury. This time the suspects, armed with two handguns, forced their way into the vehicle, a 1994 Mitsubishi SUV. The driver and his two passenger victims were forced to drive a short distance from the gas station, robbed, and then let out of the car. The suspects left in the victims SUV.
Mission Area Gang Enforcement Detail Officers who had been monitoring the radio, gathered information on all four crimes. Their investigation led them to believe that the suspects where likely gang members from the Pacoima area. Based on the information they obtained, they went to the area of Laurel Canyon and Paxton Boulevard to search for the suspects where, Pacas Trece and Pacoima Brownstone, gang members are known to frequent.
After a brief search of the area, officers spotted the stolen Mitsubishi SUV, with all five suspects still inside. The suspects led officers on a short pursuit before abandoning the vehicle and running in different directions.
The officers quickly set up a perimeter and captured four of the five suspects involved in the four incidents. Sergeant Daryoush Sameyah said, "The Mission Area Gang Enforcement Detail did a phenomenal job of monitoring the radio, devising a plan to capture these armed and dangerous suspects, and following up on the information they had gathered. Their hard work resulted in the arrest of four very dangerous individuals. It is fortunate that we were able to take them off of the streets before they could do any more harm or cause anymore damage."
The three adult suspects have been identified as Jesse Augustin, 24, of Lake View Terrace, Armando Mendoza, 18, of Arleta and Agapita Aguirre, 19, of Sylmar. The fourth suspect, a male, juvenile, 14, from San Fernando was also taken into custody.
All four suspects have been booked for Carjacking and face additional charges of Kidnap, Felony Hit & Run, and Assault. The fifth suspect, a Hispanic female, with a partially shaved head was able to get away, but police believe she will be captured soon.
The juvenile received medical treatment for injuries he sustained in the initial collision and subsequent foot pursuit. He is being held at Sylmar Juvenile Hall without bail.
Aguirre was hospitalized for a serious facial injury she received during the same crash. She is being held on $245,000 bail. Augustin is being held without bail and Mendoza is being held on $220,000 bail.
Anyone with information is asked to call Mission Area, Sergeant Daryoush Sameyah at 818-838-9820. After hours and on weekends, please call the 24-hour Detective Information Desk at 1-877-LAW-FULL (529-3855).