Man accused of beating, carjacking rival carpet cleaner in Pico Rivera

PICO RIVERA — Deputies jailed a crooked carpet cleaner Thursday after he attacked a competitor and carjacked a work van loaded with expensive equipment, authorities said.
Luis Efren Garcia, 49, of Lynwood was being held in lieu of $100,000 bail pending his initial court appearance, scheduled for Tuesday in Whittier Superior Court, according to county booking records.
He was believed to have an ongoing business dispute with a fellow carpet cleaner when he spotted the victim, a man in his 40s, about 8:20 a.m. in the 9500 block of Carron Drive, just east of Passons Boulevard, Los Angeles County sheriff’s Lt. Robert Smith said.
“The suspect happened to run across the victim, who had just gotten back from dropping his kids off at school,” the lieutenant said.
Garcia attacked the man, beating him in the head with an unknown blunt object which detectives suspected may have been a steel toe boot, Smith said. A sledge hammer was also recovered from the scene of the attack.
The victim had one of his eyes swollen shut by the beating but was not believed to have been seriously injured, officials said.
Officials said Garcia then fled in the victim’s work van, which was still running and loaded with more than $10,000 of carpet cleaning equipment.
Upon interviewing the victim and performing some initial investigation, deputies learned that Garcia may have been headed to either Bell Gardens or Lynwood.
Deputies from the sheriff’s Century Station spotted the work van, which had the victim’s business logo prominently displayed, parked on a street in Lynwood, Smith Smith said.
They watched as Garcia got into the stolen van and arrested him, authorities said. The victim identified him as his attacker.
“It was very good investigation by the initial deputy at the scene and follow-up by Century deputies and our detectives,” Smith said.
A second man, later identified as Garcia’s son, was with him when he arrived at the victim’s home but was not suspected of taking part in the attack or carjacking, Smith said.
The son was initially detained while cleaning a home in Montebello, but released after detectives determined he was not a participant in the crimes, Smith added.
Garcia was booked on suspicion of crimes including carjacking, grand theft and assault with a deadly weapon, he said.

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