Josh Johnson was playing a video game in his home near the intersection of Allegheny Street and Calle Tortuosa on Monday, July 6, at around 5 p.m. when he heard a loud crash. He said he looked out the window and saw two black men getting out of a wrecked BMW. Dust from the car’s collision with a fence was still flying as the two men grabbed a duffel bag from inside the vehicle and then ran off, Johnson said.
National City police believe the car was one of two vehicles involved in a jewelry-store heist and purse-snatching.
At around 4:45 p.m., in the parking lot of a strip mall in the 1400 block of E. Plaza Boulevard, National City police were investigating a purse-snatching when a jewelry store was reported being robbed a few blocks away, according to Sgt. Mike Harlan.
"The suspects were chased by the jewelry store clerk and other witnesses, and they gave us descriptions of two different cars, one of which [the BMW] matched the description of the [car implicated in the purse-snatching case]," Harlan said.
An 18- and 19-year-old were detained in the National City neighborhood near where the BMW crashed. Police found a duffel bag and sawed-off shotgun.
A 17-year-old was arrested after he returned to an SUV that police said matched witnesses' description of the second vehicle. A fourth person is still being sought.