Search for suspects in violent Vista carjacking leads to arrest of six people

VISTA (KUSI) — Six people were arrested in connection with a carjacking in Vista, where a man and woman stabbed their victim in her hand, slashed one of her legs and dragged her from her car before stealing it, authorities said Thursday.

About 14 hours after that robbery Thursday, a detective happened upon the stolen car at a gas station and deputies arrested two people at the scene and launched a search for a third person, San Diego County Sheriff’s Sgt. Frank Sandoval said. The deputies ultimately found the suspect hiding in the crawl space of a nearby home and arrested him along with three others accused of harboring a fugitive.

The violent carjacking happened about 5 a.m. Thursday on Rollins Way in Vista, Sandoval said. A woman was sitting in the driver’s seat of a 1997 Toyota Camry when a man and woman approached, threatened her with a knife and ordered her out of the car.

"A struggle ensued and the victim was stabbed in the hand, cut on the leg, dragged from the vehicle and pushed onto the ground," Sandoval said. "The suspects drove off in the vehicle. The victim was transported to an area hospital for treatment of injuries which are not life-threatening." 

About 7 p.m. Thursday evening, a detective happened upon the stolen car at a gas station on North Melrose Drive and Olive Avenue, Sandoval said. Gang and patrol deputies responded to the gas station and arrested two people, but a third man fled on foot. 

"Following an extensive search of the surrounding area, the subject, later identified as Jorge Earl, was located inside a residence hiding in a small crawl space," Sandoval said. "Earl was taken into custody with the assistance of a sheriff’s canine." 

Earl, 33, and Alexis Zamora, 23, were arrested on suspicion of carjacking, the sheriff’s sergeant said. Jail records showed Earl was no longer in custody Friday morning, while Zamora was being held in the Vista Detention Center in lieu of $75,000 bail on suspicion of felony carjacking and assault with a deadly weapon.

Yobani Zamora, 24, was arrested at the gas station with Alexis Zamora on suspicion of possession of methamphetamine for sales, Sandoval said. The three people arrested at the home where Earl was found hiding were Rachel Penton, 41, Jose Gutierrez, 37, and 35-year-old Salvador Martinez. All three were taken into custody on suspicion of harboring a fugitive.

Categories: Local San Diego News