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Motorist becomes carjacking victim after picking up hitchhiker

A driver traveling through Orcutt Tuesday afternoon became the victim of a terrifying carjacking after he picked up a hitchhiker in the area of U.S. Highway 101 northbound and the Clark Avenue off ramp.

The unnamed victim told police that the hitchhiker began punching him repeatedly in the face soon after passing the Union Valley overpass and Highway 101.

“The victim attempted to fight back and got into a traffic collision with a van that was also traveling northbound on Highway 101,” said Kelly Hoover, Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s Office Public Information Officer. “The victim then pulled to the shoulder just south of the Santa Maria Way off ramp. The fight continued until the passenger of the van attempted to assist the victim.”

It was at that point that the hitchhiker exited the car and took out a knife before chasing the passenger of the van, according to investigators. The carjacking suspect then slashed the right front tire of the van before getting back into the assault victim’s car and fleeing northbound on Highway 101.

Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s deputies and California Highway Patrol officers searched the area but were unable to locate the carjacking suspect or stolen car.

The suspect is described as a white male adult, about 18 to 20 years of age with tattoos on his arms and neck. The stolen vehicle is a white GMC Sierra with CA license plate: 45169M1.

Anyone with any information about this case is asked to call the Sheriff’s Office at 805-934-6150, or remain anonymous by calling 805-681-4171. The Sheriff’s Office reminds the public that if they see the stolen vehicle, call 911 immediately.

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