California Man Charged in St. Cloud Carjacking Incidents
ST. CLOUD -- A California man is charged in Stearns County District Court with aggravated robbery after police say he attempted a St. Cloud carjacking on November 3rd and then successfully stole a car on Monday.
Nineteen-year-old Just Lopez is charged with two counts of aggravated robbery and one count of terroristic threats.
Police were called to the 800 block of McKinley Place Friday night when a man called to say someone had threatened to stab him if he didn't give up his car. Court records show when the car owner got out, the suspect ran off after realizing the victim was bigger than he was.
The suspect was identified as Lopez when an officer recognized the description as a man he had just brought to the hospital. Lopez refused to give police a statement at that time.
On Monday, a man called 911 to report a young man matching Lopez' description had approached his car in an alley, pointed a gun at him, and said he was taking the car. The victim gave up the car and the suspect drove away.
Tuesday night, a woman called police to report a man had approached her in a vehicle and asked for her phone and if she wanted to get into his vehicle. She told police the man was inside a vehicle in a parking lot in the 1100 block of 7th Avenue South. Police responded to the scene and recognized the suspect as Lopez.
Officers say they discovered the keys to the stolen car in his pocket and the vehicle parked nearby.
Investigators say Lopez admitted another man gave him a fake gun to use to get a car to sleep in. A black BB gun pistol was found inside the car.
Lopez is due in court December 20th. He is being held in the Stearns County Jail.