One arrested after a bad week of carjackings

There were two incidents of carjacking — when a vehicle is stolen from the owner through threat or force — in San Francisco last week.

On Friday, police arrested one suspect in an Aug. 7 carjacking that took place at the Safeway parking lot on the 4900 block of Mission Street. With the help of eyewitness reports, officers located the car on Delta Avenue and arrested one of the two men allegedly involved in the crime — Aaron Harris, 39 — according to the Police Department.

Harris and another suspect allegedly approached the two victims, a 47-year-old man and his wife, who were sitting in their car waiting for their son to get off work. Harris allegedly pushed a gun against the man’s chest, forcing him out of the car. The second suspect pulled the wife out of the passenger seat. Police were unable to apprehend the second suspect, who fled the scene on foot.

On Aug. 6, two brothers were the victims of a brazen carjacking in the Sunnydale neighborhood, and though officers were able to recover the car, the suspect escaped on foot.

The brothers were parked in a 2004 Buick Century on the 1900 block of Sunnydale Avenue, when the suspect, an 18-year-old black man, pulled out a pistol and yelled at the two, “get out of the car before you get killed,” said Capt. Denis O’Leary, of the Ingleside Police Station.

Undaunted by the threat, one of the brothers attempted to wrestle the gun out of the suspect’s hand. The carjacker, however, was able to regain control of his firearm and eventually succeeded in robbing both men of their wallets, before speeding off in the stolen vehicle, O’Leary said.

Canning said car robbers use stolen vehicles to aid in other criminal activities or to sell off parts to local chop shops.

The two incidents brought the number of carjackings this year to 53, amounting to roughly one case every four days, Canning said.

Those numbers are down slightly from the same point in 2007, when there were 56 reports of carjackings, Canning said.

wreisman@sfexaminer.com

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