Davis police say carjacking is latest in ‘unusual’ rash of thefts

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DAVIS, Calif. (KTXL) -- Police in Davis are investigating a carjacking at gunpoint that happened late Tuesday night on Alvarado Avenue.

Police say the thieves appear to be targeting students.

"It was really crazy and everything happened so fast," Libna Leon, who was confronted by the thieves, told FOX40.

Leon, a senior at UC Davis, was heading home to her apartment on Alvarado Avenue after taking a quick study break with a friend.

"This van comes over and pulls up into the parking. We didn’t think much of it. It looked like a nice car," she said. "Mainly this one dude comes out in a white hoodie and with a gun and he was the one pointing, telling us to 'hand over everything. Hand over your keys.'"

Police say three more men, all armed, were waiting in the van.

Leon handed over her keys and her friend handed over her electronics.

"I was able to hide my phone. So, I took it out of my hoodie pocket and put it into my pants," she said.

When the suspects ordered them to cross the street, she tried to take a photo.

"So I tried to take the license plate number. I couldn’t, I was very shaky," she said. "My friends were laughing about it, like ‘Oh my God, Libna, why would you take pictures? That’s crazy!' And I’m like, 'I had to do something.'"

Police are now using her photos as they search for her 2007 Audi with license plate 5VBZ037 and the four suspects involved.

This is the eighth armed robbery in the city in just seven weeks. Most of the victims are students.

"For this timeframe it is unusual," Deputy Chief Paul Doroshov said. "And it is causing a lot of concern with the community."

Investigators say it’s unclear whether the cases are connected to the same suspects. Police have already made two arrests in previous armed robberies and the crimes don’t appear to be slowing down.

"We are expanding our patrol division through overtime in order to create some preventative patrols to protect people," Doroshov said.

That means more eyes of the streets that Leon hopes will prevent anyone else from going through what she’s had to.

“At least we didn’t get hurt. They didn’t shoot us," she said.

Police say, in some cases, people have gotten seriously hurt trying to fight back. They say victims should just cooperate, that no possession is worth a life.

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