Alhambra police are seeking a possible carjacking victim after arresting four burglary suspects earlier this week, officials said.
The incident, part of which was captured by a police car’s dashboard camera, began about 11 a.m. Tuesday when officers responded to a report of a residential break-in in the 500 block of West Ramona Road, Alhambra police officials said in a written statement.
Four suspects were jailed on suspicion of burglary in connection with the incident, however police were hoping to track down a motorist who was possibly carjacked by one of the suspects, but left the scene before police could speak with him, Alhambra police Sgt. Jerry Johnson said.
The four suspects fled in a car before patrol officers arrived, however they were spotted and followed by a Pasadena Police Department helicopter, Johnson said.
With the helicopter-based officers watching, the fleeing vehicle drove to the area of Del Mar Avenue and Valley Boulevard, “where they exited the car and the four suspects fled in four different directions,” Johnson said.
One of the fleeing suspects — later identified as 18-year-old Donald Trotter of Los Angeles — got into the passenger seat of a blue or gray car occupied by an older Asian man, the sergeant said.
The vehicle began driving, however it was not clear Sunday whether the driver willingly gave the young man a ride without realizing he was fleeing from police, or was ordered to drive by the suspect, which would bring an additional charge of carjacking.
As a dashboard video camera rolled, a responding Alhambra police officer was heading toward the area when he spotted the blue-gray vehicle, officials said.
The burglary suspect exited the car and jumped into a nearby wash, injuring himself in the process, Johnson said.
“He fell about 30 feet and broke his ankle pretty badly,” he said. The suspect was quickly taken into custody, as were the other three.
Meanwhile, the driver of the blue-gray car also exited the vehicle and began pointing police toward the suspect, authorities added.
“The male Asian then left the scene before officers could interview him,” according to the police statement.
The older man was not suspected of participating in the burglary, police added, but officers wanted to talk to him to determined whether he was the victim of carjacking.
“He was either duped, or a victim. Either way, we’d like to know,” Johnson said.
In addition to Trotter, police arrested Steve Gainer, 29, of Paramount; Morgan Gardner, 19, of Downey; and a 17-year-old Los Angeles boy, Johnson said. All were booked on suspicion of burglary as the investigation into potential additional charges continued.
According to county booking records, Gardner was released from jail Tuesday on $50,000 bail pending her initial court appearance, while Gainer was released Thursday after posting $56,000 bail. Trotter was hospitalized for treatment of his ankle injury prior to booking.
Anyone with information was asked to contact Alhambra police Detective Corey Fukumoto at 626-308-4845.
VIDEO courtesy of the Alhambra Police Department