An 18-year-old Stockton man linked to an armed carjacking on Parkside Drive in Berkeley in July is in custody this week awaiting arraignment, according to police and court records.
On July 6, four masked men with long guns, similar to rifles, approached a 59-year-old woman parking her car, pointed their guns at her face and demanded her car keys, according to police and court papers.
The incident took place at 11:15 p.m. on Parkside and Nogales Street in the Claremont neighborhood, which is one of Berkeley's safest areas.
The woman gave up her keys and the men took off in her 2013 black Mercedes as well as their own getaway car, Berkeley police said.
Several weeks later, the Elk Grove Police Department spotted the Mercedes and tried to stop it.
Juan Fuentes. BPD
The driver fled, leading to a chase, but officers were eventually able to stop him, BPD said.
The driver, who was alone in the car at the time, was identified as 18-year-old Juan Fuentes.
Berkeley police continued their investigation and ultimately arrested Fuentes in connection with the carjacking on Parkside Drive.
As of this week, BPD said the case "remains under investigation."
Fuentes is being held on $400,000 bail at Santa Rita Jail on suspicion of carjacking, conspiracy and the use of a firearm.
He is scheduled for arraignment Wednesday.
Robberies in Berkeley are up 22%
There have been more than 290 robberies in Berkeley so far this year.
Read more about robberies in Berkeley.
Carjacking reports, which are a subset of robberies, are also up.
There have been about 30 carjacking reports in Berkeley this year compared to the historic average of 14 annually in total.
Last year at this time, there had been 12 carjackings, according to BPD data.