Two children, aged 12 and 13, were arrested over the weekend in connection with a car theft in San Leandro, police said.
The case began the day after Thanksgiving, when the victim of the carjacking was delivering pizza. According to the San Leandro Police Department, four suspects, one of whom was armed, “forcibly pulled” him out of his vehicle, took his keys and fled at full speed.
At 9 a.m. on Sunday, a patroller spotted several occupants inside the stolen vehicle near a Walmart a few miles away in the town south of Oakland. When the occupants entered the store, the patroller summoned additional officers to the scene.
Moments later, the group exited the store and police arrested two minors in connection with the carjacking. The rest of the group, all minors, were returned to their families, authorities said.
Lt. Matt Barajas of the San Leandro Police Department said on Tuesday that similar cases involving young people were on the increase.
“Unfortunately, it’s becoming more and more common these days,” he said. “I have been in law enforcement for 15 years, and have started to see more cases like this come under our jurisdiction than we would like.”
In April, San Leandro police arrested four minors – one 11, one 12 and two 14 – in another carjacking.
The two people arrested on Sunday were taken to a juvenile room, Barajas said. Due to their status as minors, he could not say whether they were still in detention.