Ex-convict charged in carjacking

first_imgLANCASTER – An ex-convict released on parole three weeks ago has been charged with carjacking a Lancaster woman’s car at a gas station. Larry Johnson, 40, who has been in prison for all but three of the last 18 years for attempted murder, vehicle theft, drug offenses and parole violations, faces up to 27 years in prison if convicted of carjacking. Johnson was arrested within 20 minutes of the robbery with help from a motorist who followed the stolen car and pointed out to deputies the direction the thief ran after abandoning the disabled car. “He did exactly what we’d want people to do,” Detective Brad Feehan said of the good Samaritan. Feehan said the man didn’t try to apprehend the robber but followed him at a distance and called the Sheriff’s Department on his cell phone. The blown tire let the wheel get ground down to its hub, so the thief abandoned the car less than a mile away on Gadsden Avenue and jumped a fence into a backyard. Sheriff’s deputies surrounded the area and within a few minutes arrested Johnson coming out of a backyard near 10th Street West and Avenue J-12, about a quarter-mile from the disabled car, deputies said. Johnson’s potential sentence would be lengthened under state laws that stiffen sentences for repeat offenders, including the “three strikes, you’re out” law. This would be Johnson’s second “strike” if he is convicted, Deputy District Attorney Richard White said. State prison records show Johnson has been sent to prison eight times since 1987 and hasn’t been out of prison longer than 15 months at any one time. All of his convictions were at the San Fernando Courthouse. Feehan said detectives aren’t sure where Johnson lives or if he is a transient. They came across a Lancaster address for him, but also addresses in other areas, Feehan said. First sent to a California state prison at age 22 for possession of controlled substance for sale, Johnson was paroled from prison the following year. Within 15 months, he was back in prison for vehicle theft. Paroled again 11 months later, he was convicted less than six weeks later of attempted murder and in January 1991 was sent back to prison on a 14-year sentence. Paroled in 1998, he was in and out of prison at least four times over the next two years for violating the terms of his parole. In November 2000, he was sent back to prison for a drug conviction; he was paroled again in October 2004 and brought back to prison last December. He was let out again most recently on Jan. 18, state prison records show. Charles F. Bostwick, (661) 267-5742 chuck.bostwick@dailynews.com 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MORESanta Anita opens winter meet Saturday with loaded card Johnson, who is being held without bail under terms of his parole, pleaded not guilty Tuesday in Antelope Valley Superior Court to the carjacking charge. Johnson is accused of stealing a 1998 Oldsmobile belonging to a 46-year-old Lancaster woman who had stopped at an AM-PM market on Avenue K near the Antelope Valley Freeway just before 7 a.m. Saturday to buy a cup of coffee. The husband of the woman, who asked not to be identified for her safety, said his wife was returning to her car when a man who had been talking to other men in a vehicle at the gas station walked up to her under the pretext of asking for directions. The man then jumped at the woman and pushed her, her husband said. She threw her coffee on him, tossed her keys across the parking lot and screamed, but none of the people pumping gas came to her aid. Feehan said the good Samaritan, whose name also was not released, had either been at the gas station or was driving by. The assailant picked up the keys and got in the car, blowing a tire on a curb as he sped off. last_img

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