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Suspect arrested in connection with Encinitas carjacking

An Orange County man allegedly carjacked a sedan at an Encinitas strip mall yesterday, abandoned it a short time later in Carlsbad and then made a failed bid to disguise himself and escape on foot.

The 64-year-old owner of the 2009 Toyota Corolla had just finished using a walk-up ATM in front of a Chase bank branch in the 100 block of North El Camino Real when he saw a man walk up to the vehicle and get into the driver’s seat about 7:45 a.m., sheriff’s Sgt. Joe Tomaiko said.

The victim, who had left the keys in the vehicle, hurried over and reached inside through a window to try to halt the theft. Instead, he wound up dragged alongside his car for a short distance before tumbling to the pavement.

He suffered no serious injuries, Tomaiko said. Deputies searched the area for the red Corolla and asked area law enforcement agencies to be on the lookout for it. Less than 15 minutes later,

police in Carlsbad found the compact car ditched in a beach-front neighborhood in the 3000 block of Ocean Street and saw someone running away from it.

As officers gave chase, the fleeing man, later identified as 24-year-old Maxwell Post of Costa Mesa, allegedly forced his way into a home and stole clothing from a resident “in an attempt to change his appearance,’' the sergeant said.

Officers took the suspect into custody moments later as he emerged from the home. Believing that Post was under the influence of some sort of controlled substance, deputies took him to a hospital for an evaluation prior to booking him into county jail, Tomaiko said.


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