Suspect in Piedmont carjacking of mom, baby held to answer

Quran Mabon, 19, has also been charged with three robberies, including a carjacking, in Berkeley this year, court papers show.

Suspect in Piedmont carjacking of mom, baby held to answer
Berkeley police investigate a carjacking at Ellis Street and Alcatraz Avenue, Feb. 21, 2023. Emilie Raguso/The Berkeley Scanner

A Rodeo man charged with the carjacking of a Piedmont mother while her baby was in the back seat is set to appear in court Monday in connection with three Berkeley robberies, including a carjacking, court papers show.

In recent weeks, Quran Mabon, 19, was held to answer in the Piedmont carjacking case after a brief preliminary hearing before Judge Thomas Reardon.

Mabon is set to return to court Monday for a preliminary hearing focused on the Berkeley allegations, which include a carjacking in February and two robberies in May, both north of the UC Berkeley campus.

UC Berkeley students appear to have been targeted in both May robberies, according to public records.

Authorities arrested Mabon in September, on the day of the Piedmont carjacking, after spotting him in Oakland with the help of a CHP aircraft, according to court records.

That day, the victim from the carjacking identified him as the man who had forced her out of her BMW M3 on Grand Avenue while her baby was in the car, records show.

The Berkeley Scanner reviewed a number of Alameda County court records related to Mabon in preparation for this story.

BPD: Suspect's fingerprints found on ditched phone

In court papers, authorities said they identified Mabon as a suspect with the help of surveillance footage, cellphone records, social media posts and fingerprint evidence.

Investigators ultimately linked him to at least three Berkeley cases involving four victims this year.

All four of the Berkeley victims were Asian or South Asian.

On Feb. 21, three people carjacked a man in the 3200 block of Ellis Street in South Berkeley around 9:45 p.m.

They claimed to have a gun and threatened to shoot the victim, police wrote, taking his phone and wallet in addition to his car, a white Mercedes Benz.

The group ditched the phone less than a block away. Police quickly found it and tested it for DNA and fingerprints.

When they got the results, it was Mabon's fingerprints they found, investigators wrote.

Berkeley police investigate carjacking on Ellis Street
Several people in masks who claimed to have a gun took a white Mercedes-Benz E 450 from its owner at 9:50 p.m.

The other two robberies took place in Berkeley in May less than a week apart and in the same general vicinity north of Cal. And both appear to have involved Cal students.

On May 11, four people physically assaulted two young women in the 2700 block of Le Conte Avenue, near La Loma Avenue, and robbed them of their belongings at about 10:50 p.m.

On May 16, a man approached a woman walking north on Shattuck Avenue, toward Vine Street, just after 10:30 p.m. He ordered her to give up her phone and backpack.

Mabon also linked to Martinez dispensary burglary

Investigators said surveillance footage from an Oakland gas station where one of the stolen credit cards was used led them to Mabon and a second suspect, 19-year-old Dylan McMillian.

They also noted that the white Mercedes from the February carjacking had been ditched less than a block from McMillian's home in East Oakland.

Cellphone records put both men in several locations related to the crimes, police wrote.

In mid-September, the Alameda County DA's office filed charges against both men in connection with all three crimes: the February carjacking and both robberies in May.

Police also noted in court papers that Mabon's fingerprints were found in a carjacking vehicle from a cannabis burglary case in Martinez that resulted in a fatal police shooting in August.

While investigating the Martinez case, police found a loaded gun linked to an Oakland shooting from April as well as a car that had been stolen from Livermore just days before the cannabis burglary, KRON4 reported.

Piedmont carjacking: "Get the baby out, bitch"

Police arrested Mabon on Sept. 10 on the afternoon of the Piedmont carjacking, which made headlines around the Bay Area.

That morning, a woman had just loaded her baby into her car and gotten behind the wheel at about 9 a.m. when strangers pulled up beside her on Grand Avenue, according to court papers.

She described the incident during a brief preliminary hearing on Nov. 7.

(The Scanner reviewed a transcript of the hearing.)

The woman said a man, who was later identified as Mabon, had gotten out of the car along with a second man who stood nearby.

The first man approached her window and demanded her wallet, purse and keys.

The woman complied. And then she alerted Mabon to her baby in the car.

"It was almost as if … he was caught off guard," she testified. "He was like, 'baby,' like, oh, shoot."

Read more court coverage on The Scanner.

The man told her she could get her baby out of the car, which she rushed to do. She described his tone of voice as "aggressive."

"I was scared obviously," she said. "I was just trying to give them what they wanted and make it stop.” 

She said she was trying to "move really fast to unbuckle him out of the car seat," but "my hands were shaking."

The man identified as Mabon sat in the driver's seat and quickly got impatient, she said.

"I’m in the back and he’s yelling to me, 'Get the baby out, get the baby out, bitch,'" she said.

She managed to remove the baby and get out of the car, she said, "and then he sped off."

The whole experience may have spanned only seconds or, at most, minutes.

"It felt like an eternity," she testified.

Quran Mabon spotted in Oakland hours later

At about 4 p.m. that same day, OPD pulled Mabon over in the woman's BMW.

She said Piedmont police took her to Oakland to see if she recognized the man in her car.

She identified Mabon because, she said, "That’s who I remembered seeing."

On the stand, she said his build and skin tone stood out to her as familiar. He had worn a COVID-style mask over much of his face during the carjacking.

Mabon's defense attorney, Gary Sherrer, questioned the identification and said some of the physical details had changed over time.

He also noted that there had been a large gap in time between the Piedmont carjacking and the Oakland car stop.

Sherrer also said Mabon had four women in the car with him when he was stopped in Oakland, which did not fit the description from the Piedmont carjacking.

When the hearing began, he had asked the judge to postpone it because he said he still needed some materials from the prosecution that had not been turned over.

The judge ultimately denied Sherrer's request and said the evidence slated to be put forward during the prelim by prosecutor Kevin Asvitt covered other ground.

During a preliminary hearing, the burden of proof is much lower than at trial so only a fraction of the evidence, enough to prove probable cause, is put forward.

In addition to the Piedmont woman's testimony, the hearing also included Tesla footage of the carjacking and cellphone video from a neighbor, as well as a few minutes of testimony from two Piedmont police officers.

At the end of the hearing, Judge Reardon held Mabon to answer on all three felony charges from the Piedmont case: carjacking, vehicle theft and receiving stolen property.

He is scheduled for further arraignment in that case Dec. 12.

What's next for Quran Mabon?

Quran Mabon. BPD

On Monday, Mabon is set to return to court for his preliminary hearing in the Berkeley case.

He is being held on a combined bail of $350,000 in relation to the Berkeley and Piedmont cases.

The 19-year-old has no prior adult convictions in Alameda County, according to court records.

Dylan McMillian is facing the same five felony charges as Mabon in the Berkeley case but he is not in custody and is not slated to appear Monday, according to available court records.

According to charging papers, McMillian was convicted in Nevada in January of firing a gun into an occupied structure or vehicle. He was placed on probation as a result.

Carjackings and robberies are up in Berkeley this year.

There were 36 carjackings in Berkeley through Oct. 29, compared to 13 over the same period last year.

Robberies overall are up 31% in 2023, from 273 in 2022 to 358 this year.


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