Home Courts District Attorney Charges Retail Theft Defendant With Carjacking/Kidnapping

District Attorney Charges Retail Theft Defendant With Carjacking/Kidnapping

Photo: File

From the Office of the District Attorney:

Contra Costa District Attorney Diana Becton announced today that her office has charged Philander Johnson, 30, in a four-count felony complaint with Robbery, Assault with a Deadly Weapon and two counts of Carjacking for Kidnapping.

The charges stem from the November 24, 2021, crime spree which began at the Ace Hardware in Blackhawk and culminated in Johnson’s arrest in San Ramon.

“This brazen crime spree is a flagrant violation of community safety,” said District Attorney Diana Becton. “My office is working in a coordinated effort with law enforcement partners throughout the Bay Area to identify perpetrators of organized retail theft. Those who engage in such criminality will be prosecuted to the full extent of the law by the Contra Costa District Attorney’s Office.”

Johnson and two unidentified individuals entered the Blackhawk Ace Hardware and attempted to flee with several power tools in hand. When confronted by store staff, Johnson brandished a knife and effectuated his escape. Separated from his accomplices, Johnson proceeded into a nearby parking lot and entered the car of an unwitting motorist. Johnson held the driver at knife point and commanded the victim drive him out of the immediate area. Johnson arrived in San Ramon, abandoning the first carjacking victim to enter a second occupied vehicle. Johnson threatened the unwitting occupant to drive him away. Law enforcement in the area were able to observe the suspicious nature of the activity and conducted a traffic stop, assisting the victim driver and apprehending Johnson.

Johnson is pending adjudication of an unrelated shoplifting case which had previously been filed in August 2021. Johnson is in custody awaiting arraignment.


  1. District attorney Diane Becton is sure talking tough now. While it is a welcome change, I’m doubtful it will last long. It’s just the pressure’s on right now and her election is not far off so she’s trying to look like she’s protecting us for a change. I doubt that her conversion to protecting the citizens over the criminal is a sincere one or a long-term one.

    • Ha! Banana Republic hasn’t had anything with stealing since the Gap, Inc. Board sacked Mickey Drexler back in ‘02.

      Gap’s other shareholders paid dearly to to appease Don Fischer’s fragile ego.

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