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Driver Who Picked Up Hitchhiker In Orcutt Becomes Carjacking Victim

A motorist who picked up a hitchhiker in Orcutt was attacked on Tuesday while driving on Highway 101, then crashed into another vehicle, and ended up being the victim of a carjacking. 

The driver of a white GMC Sierra pickup reported at approximately 3:45 p.m. that he had picked up an unknown hitchhiker near Highway 101 and the Clark Avenue northbound onramp, according to Kelly Hoover, a spokeswoman for the Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s Department.

The victim said that after passing the Union Valley Parkway overpass on Highway 101, the suspect punched him repeatedly in the face, Hoover added.

“The victim attempted to fight back and got into a traffic collision with a van that was also traveling northbound on Highway 101,” Hoover said. “The victim then pulled to the shoulder just south of the Santa Maria Way offramp. The fight continued until a passenger in the van attempted to assist the victim."

Armed with a knife, the suspect got out of the GMC and chased after the passenger from the van before slashing that vehicle's right front tire. 

The GMC’s driver got out of the vehicle, before the suspect ran to the truck and fled northbound on Highway 101.

Sheriff's deputies and California Highway Patrol officers responded and searched the area, but were unable to locate the suspect or stolen vehicle, Hoover said.

Names of those involved in the incident were not released.

The suspect was described as a white male approximately 18 to 20 years of age, with tattoos on his arms and neck.

The GMC Sierra truck has a license plate number of 45169M1.

Anyone who sees stolen vehicle is asked to call 9-1-1.  

Investigators are seeking any witnesses to the crime, accident and/or suspect in this case, and asked people to contact the Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s Office at 805.934.6150.

Anonymous tips can be made by calling 805.681.4171.

Noozhawk North County editor Janene Scully can be reached at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address). Follow Noozhawk on Twitter: @noozhawk, @NoozhawkNews and @NoozhawkBiz. Connect with Noozhawk on Facebook.

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