A 26-year-old Moraga man was arrested after two separate, apparently unrelated carjacking attempts in Pacifica Wednesday, according to police in the coastal community.
Officers said they responded to the area of Palmetto Avenue and West Manor Drive at about 4 p.m. Wednesday after receiving a report of an attempted carjacking in that area. One report turned into two, they said, after a second victim was located – telling officers much the same version of events as the first.
Both would-be victims said they were approached by a large man who asked the first victim if he valued his car more than his life before he was chased off by a citizen who intervened. The second victim told police the man demanded his car keys, grabbed him around the head and neck and punched him.
Officers said the citizen who had initially confronted the suspect followed him after chasing him away and brandished a hammer to get the suspect, who victims described as over 6 feet tall and weighing approximately 350 pounds, under control after the suspect allegedly threatened him.
Police said they arrested the man, subsequently identified as Valente Casanova, 26, of Moraga, in a nearby van.
Casanova was taken to a local hospital for treatment of an unrelated issue and was expected to be booked into San Mateo County Jail on two counts of attempted carjacking.