(KTLA) — A man suspected of carjacking an 81-year-old woman who was feeding homeless people in California has been arrested, police said Thursday.
The incident was reported at about 3:30 p.m. Monday in the parking lot of a Stater Bros. store in Redlands.
Nina Steinman told Redlands police she had been in the parking lot to provide meals to homeless people in the area, something she’s been doing since January.
While Steinman was handing out the last of the food she’d made herself from her open trunk, the suspect allegedly forcefully took the keys from her and got into the driver’s seat of her vehicle, police said.
Video released by police showed that Steinman managed to open the door after the carjacker got in, but the man shut it and she was not able to open it again.
“Let me tell you, I’m not afraid,” Steinman told WFXR’s sister station, KTLA. “I was going to grab his shirt and just drag that little puppy right out of the front seat, but I couldn’t get the door open.”
The suspect then drove off while Steinman was still holding onto the driver’s door, and she was knocked to the ground.
She was not injured but was left with bruises on her arm and without her wallet and purse.
Steinman said she had to change her locks because she was afraid the man would break into her home.
The man was then seen entering the westbound 10 Freeway, with the rear hatch of the stolen vehicle still open, police said.
Los Angeles Police Department officers spotted the stolen vehicle, a 2015 Kia Sportage, in a parking structure in downtown Los Angeles on Wednesday evening.
The driver was identified as 24-year-old Roberto Carlos Sanchez Jr. and he was arrested on suspicion of being in possession of a stolen vehicle, police said.
Redlands police later confirmed that Sanchez is suspected of a carjacking at the parking lot in Redlands.
He was transported to West Valley Detention Center in San Bernardino, California, where he was being held on suspicion of carjacking and elder abuse. His bail was set at $250,000.
Steinman had planned to go to Los Angeles on Thursday to recover her stolen vehicle, which was still driveable, she told KTLA.