El Cajon hit by spree of robberies, carjackings

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EL CAJON, Calif. -- Masked thieves armed with guns carried out a spree of thefts in El Cajon Wednesday, robbing a pedestrian, committing three carjackings and making a failed attempt to commandeer a third car -- all over a roughly hourlong period.

Investigators believe the crimes, which took place roughly between 5 a.m. and 6 a.m., were committed by the same four or five bandits, described as male and in their late teens or early 20s.

During one of the thefts, a man standing on a sidewalk at the intersection of Gina and Lexington avenues was robbed of his backpack, Lt. Randy Soulard said.

In another, a man and woman walked out to their car where it sat parked in front of their home in the 900 block of Grant Avenue and found a stranger inside. During an ensuing struggle, the would-be thief struck the male victim with a gun, then began driving off, the lieutenant said.

The woman, trying to stop the crook, clung to the car and was dragged a short distance before he pulled over, jumped out and fled on foot, Soulard said.

The couple was treated for minor injuries, according to police.

The other two carjackings -- one in the 300 block of Filbert Street and the other in the 1000 block of Naranca Avenue -- were successful, Soulard said.

The perpetrators, who were armed with handguns and long-barreled guns during the crimes, remained unidentified and at large in the late afternoon.

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