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A carjacker allegedly targeted an 81 year-old woman as she fed the homeless in a supermarket, then dragged her with her car when she tried to stop him.
Nina Steinman, of Redlands in California, was handing out food to the homeless at Stater Bros Markets on E Colton Avenue around 3.30pm on Monday – something she had been doing since January
While she was performing the charitable act, a carjacker, who police say is Carlos Sanchez Jr., 24, ‘forcefully took the keys from her and got into the driver’s seat.’
The market was the last stop she had to make as she pulled in to hand three men food and homemade iced tea when Sanchez reportedly approached her car.
‘I said I don’t have anymore food, it’s all gone, but I can give you some iced tea,’ she told KTLA.
Steinman says she attempted to stop Sanchez by holding onto the driver’s side door handle, but the suspect quickly back up the vehicle with the trunk still open, pulling Steinman several feet across the ground.
‘Let me tell you, I’m not afraid,’ she told KTLA. ‘I was going to grab his shirt and just drag that little puppy right out of the front seat, but I couldn’t get the door open.’
Surveillance footage shows the woman being thrown off the car, causing her to violently roll across the ground.
Three young men appear to chase after the car, but Sanchez reportedly managed to escape. The men then go to help Steinman off the ground and hand her the things she dropped.
The Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD) located Sanchez in the driver’s seat of the Kia Sportage on East 11th Street in the City of Angels and taken to the LAPD Newtown Community Police Station, where Redlands police met them.
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Nina Steinman, 81, (pictured on the ground) was violently thrown to the ground after she tried to open the driver’s side door. Suspect, Carlos Sanchez Jr., 24, backed out of the space, dragging Steinman several feet
Steinman rolled several times as Sanchez peeled out of the parking lot. Police reported she was unharmed, only suffering from a few bruises
Sanchez reportedly ‘forcefully’ took an elderly woman’s car keys from her at Stater Bros Markets on E Colton Avenue around 3.30pm on Monday before dragging her across the parking lot as he stole her Kia Sportage
Steinman said she was planning on pulling him out of the car, but was unable to get the door open
The department said that ‘based on evidence and witness statements,’ officers were able to confirm Sanchez was the parking lot suspect.
Sanchez is being held at the West Valley Detention Center on a $250,000 bond and has been charged with carjacking and elder abuse.
Redlands PD reported Steinman was unharmed the incident, only suffering from a few bruises.
Steinman told KTLA that Sanchez took off with her purse and keys and she had to ‘change the locks’ at her home because she was ‘so afraid that he would try to break in.’
Despite the horrific experience, Steinman said she will still continue to help the misfortunate.
‘I’m 81, and the Lord is going to take me home probably soon, so while I’m here, I’m not going to stop. It’s just what I’m called to do,’ she said.
A total of 2,064 vehicles have been stolen in LA County in the last 30 days and a total of 10,192 for the year. Meanwhile, only 1,440 have been arrested for the crime in 2022.
Earlier this month, LA’s County sheriff has likened woke District Attorney George Gascon to an ego-crazed Moses with rules written in stone as he blasted the DA for rejecting 13,238 of his deputies cases.
Sheriff Alex Villanueva claims Gascon dismissed the huge number cases presented to him since taking office in 2020 because they ‘don’t conform to his special directives.’
‘He showed up like Moses with his 10 commandments with his tablets and said, “Here’s my special orders, take ’em or take ’em,”‘ Villanueva told Fox News. ‘That does not promote a good working relationship.
‘The deputies are going to continue doing their job, they make the arrests, they’ll write the reports, but then what happens after it’s submitted to the DA is where it all falls apart’
It comes as the city continues to see a spike in violent crime, which has gone up by more than 15 percent since 2020 while Gascon faces his second recall attempt since taking office.
Gascon has been vocal about his belief that the criminal justice system needs to focus more on intervention and rehabilitation, blasting ‘tough on crime’ policies as racist and a failure.
And following his first 100 days in office, he touted the changes he has made to the city’s justice system – including limiting the use of sentencing enhancements.
Sanchez was seen entering the driver’s seat after stealing the keys while Steinman was handing out food to the homeless
Three young men, who were collecting food from Steinman, help her up and handing her back the items she dropped
The incident happened in State Bros Market parking lot on Colton Ave (pictured)
The California penal code has more than 100 enhancements that could add time to a convict’s sentence depending on the situation, most of which date back to when California was facing soaring crime in the 1980s and 1990s.
But under Gascon’s reign, the use of those enhancements have been greatly reduced, with the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office 5,138 enhancements during his first three months – a 71 percent drop when compared to the same time the year before.
His first three months also saw prosecutors filing only 106 gun enhancements – an 85 percent decrease.
Gascon also barred prosecutors from charging juveniles as adults, regardless of the severity of their alleged crimes.
Villanueva – who is himself a Democrat – slammed the woke policies, telling Fox, ‘I think the entire woke universe of progressive reform has failed epically throughout the entire nation.
‘These are people that did bad things that left a victim, have the evidence presented and [the DA’s office] said: “Don’t bother.”‘
Overall crime is up 7.6 percent in Los Angeles and a more than 10,000 carjackings have took place in the City of Angels since January 1