OAKLAND (KPIX 5) – An East Bay tree-trimmer is being credited with helping police nab a suspected carjacker Tuesday using his wits, and a chainsaw.

At 5:30 p.m. Tuesday two juveniles displaying handguns ordered a man and his daughter out of their car near the intersection of Castro St. and San Leandro Blvd. in San Leandro, according to police.

Shortly after officers spotted the vehicle in Oakland in the area of 109th Ave. and MacArthur Blvd. and tried to stop it. The car took off onto westbound Interstate 580 with officers giving chase, according to police.

The pursuit ended at the 98th Ave./Golf Links Road exit when the driver lost control and crashed into a ravine, police said.

Both juveniles fled on foot and the driver was quickly apprehended. The second suspect ran to an area along the 3500 block of Calafia Avenue and hid in the bushes near where a tree-trimmer was working with a chainsaw.

The tree-trimmer, who identified himself only as ‘Victor,’ told KPIX 5 he saw the suspect and initially thought he was a police officer.

“I see this guy and he says ‘Come here’ and I thought it was a cop,” said Victor. “He told me to come to him and asked me if I had a phone.”

Victor told the suspect he didn’t have a phone and then he pretended to keep on working as officers searched for the suspect just feet away. Instead of working, however, Victor hid behind a tree and called 9-1-1.

“I pretended to be cutting branches and I went kind of behind (the tree) and kept my chainsaw revved up,” he said.

After he discreetly called police, officers found the suspect hiding in a neighbor’s bush nearby and arrested him.

Officers found a loaded handgun and a replica handgun in the abandoned vehicle. One of the suspects was treated for a leg injury from jumping a fence.

Neither of the two carjacking victims were hurt. The two juvenile suspects were not identified.

(Copyright 2013 by CBS San Francisco. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)


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