Police arrested a man suspected of an armed carjacking in southeast Fresno after he crashed into a garage and led officers on an extended pursuit as he tried to take other cars and even a bicycle from anyone he encountered.
“A one-man wrecking crew,” was how Sgt. Tony Bustos described Michael Luna, 19, who was eventually collared in a subdivision at Spalding Avenue and Dwight Way after a yard-to-yard search by officers and police dogs.
The incident began after 9 a.m. with a report that a man walked into a liquor store on Tulare Avenue near Maple Avenue, told the clerk his car had run out of gas and asked for money. He didn’t get any money but stole a bag of chips on his way out and left the car, which was stolen.
Next, reports came that a man armed with a screwdriver had taken a car from a victim. As officers sped to the area, they received an update that a car had crashed into a garage at Woodward and Chance avenues just south of the Fresno fairgrounds. Officers who arrived in the area found the vehicle partially embedded in the building and learned that the suspect had ran away.
Javier Aguilera was welding nearby when the stolen car sped by before the crash.
“I heard a car flying down the street. He had to be doing at least 60 when he hit a curb.
“I thought, ‘Oh, that isn’t good.’”
Aguilera said the fleet-of-foot suspect was already out of the neighborhood by the time he got a good look at the garage.
Police say Luna was booked into Fresno County Jail on charges including carjacking, vehicle theft, hit and run and criminal threats.