Police Seek Public’s Help with Armed Carjacking of Lyft Driver

Police are asking the public’s help in an ongoing investigation into a carjacking of a Lyft driver this past Sunday morning in South Pasadena.

Police said this week the investigation is still ongoing and are asking for anyone with information to contact detectives, according to South Pasadena Police Sgt. Shannon Robledo.

“We have no further leads at this point,” Robledo said during a telephone interview Tuesday. “We can’t divulge too much information, obviously, but we are asking for the public’s help. If anyone has any information, please contact us.”

The Lyft driver, which police declined to identify, was not injured during the incident that occurred early Sunday morning in the 1800 Block of State Street in South Pasadena.

The driver picked up three suspects – one with a tattoo on the back of his head – in Los Angeles at around 1 a.m., according to police.

The Lyft driver drove them around for about an hour making two unplanned stops before arriving in South Pasadena. It was at the final stop in the 1800 block of State Street that two of the men took out handguns, and one pointed his weapon at the driver. The suspects demanded the driver turn over his cars and other valuables. Police declined to identify the valuables. The driver said one of the men brandished a black handgun while the other had a silver revolver. The driver got out of the vehicle and watched as the men sped away westbound on State Street.

Police identified the victim’s vehicle as a gray 2010 Honda Accord. It has a California license plate of 6MGV946.

“These allegations are incredibly upsetting,” Kate Margolis, Lyft spokesperson, said Tuesday afternoon in an email.  “From day one, the safety of the Lyft community has been our top priority. We have been in communication with the driver and continue to offer our full support and assistance. We have deactivated the passenger and have been in contact with law enforcement. We stand ready to assist in an investigation.”

Police said one suspect was a bald Hispanic man, about 20-25 years of age with the unknown tattoo on the back of his head; the second suspect was described only as a Hispanic man and the third suspect was described as a Hispanic man in his 30s, according to a written statement released by the South Pasadena Police Department. Anyone with information about the carjacking was asked to call SPPD detectives at (626) 403-7280.

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Steve Whitmore is the editor for the South Pasadena Review. Steve has spent more than four decades as an award-winning print and broadcast journalist with a 16-year stint as the senior media advisor for the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department. Steve comes to us from the Keene Sentinel in Keene, New Hampshire, where he covered politics and was a columnist.