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Local News

Off-Duty Sheriff’s Deputy Foils Would-Be Carjacker at Santa Maria Restaurant

Antonio Omar Jimenez Lazaro

An off-duty Santa Barbara County sheriff’s deputy is being credited with stopping a carjacking Sunday afternoon outside a Santa Maria restaurant.

The deputy, whose name was not disclosed, was at Pappy’s Restaurant, 1275 E. Betteravia Road, at about 1:45 p.m. when he observed the would-be carjacker approach a 61-year-old woman who was getting into her vehicle, according to Santa Maria police Lt. Dan Cohen.

“The suspect pushed the female victim to the ground and ripped the car keys from her hand,” Cohen said.

“As the suspect prepared to take the victim’s vehicle, the off-duty sheriff’s deputy intervened, detained the suspect at gunpoint, and called for additional law enforcement assistance.”

Santa Maria police and California Highway Patrol officers responded to assist, and Antonio Omar Jimenez Lazaro, 23, of Salinas, was taken into custody, Cohen said.

Lazaro was booked into County Jail on suspicion of attempted carjacking. Bail was set at $100,000.

No injuries were reported.

Noozhawk executive editor Tom Bolton 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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