Vista CA— Two men who carjacked a driver at gunpoint and left the scene of a hit-and-run are in custody. The suspects yanked a man out of his car in the 900 block of Postal Way in Vista just before 3:00 p.m. on Tuesday, July 7, 2020. They then crashed into another car and took off.
A detective who happened to be in the area heard the call on the radio and started looking for the suspects. When he spotted the stolen car, he safely followed and relayed information regarding the direction of the car to Sheriff’s ASTREA (helicopter) flying overhead. Responding deputies from the Vista Sheriff’s Station then took over the brief chase.
The car ended up crashing into a curb with the driver and passenger running away. Deputies caught up with the driver at a nearby parking lot and the passenger along South Santa Fe Avenue. A loaded gun and illegal drugs were found in the stolen car.
Joseph Laxton (DOB 6/4/1994) and Ricardo Hernandez (DOB 10/5/1989) were booked on charges of carjacking, hit-and-run, a felon in possession of a firearm, drugs, violating parole, threat causing death or great bodily injury and participating in a criminal street gang.
This case highlights the collaboration amongst our uniformed and plainclothes personnel, as well as the resources we have on the ground and in the air to solve a crime. It also shows deputies are never off duty and are always monitoring their radios to keep our communities safe.