Speedy reaction to carjacking
From: The Times
Saturday, January 21, 2006
By MICHAEL RATCLIFFE
A Mercedes-Benz that was stolen Thursday during a carjacking in Morrisville, Pa., was recovered less than an hour later in Trenton after officers were led to the vehicle by a built-in global positioning device, police said yesterday.
The alleged carjacker, Christopher Strassler, 26, of Bensalem, Pa., and three other men - all Trenton residents - found in the car were arrested, police said.
Morrisville police said the carjacking occurred about 6 p.m. at the Morrisville Shopping Center off East Trenton Avenue when a man, later identified as Strassler, entered the victim's Mercedes and ordered her to give him her purse and money. The victim's name was not released.
The woman tried to get out of her car, but Strassler allegedly grabbed her, police said.
The woman was then able to break free. As she ran from the car, Strassler allegedly moved into the driver's seat and drove away, heading over the Calhoun Street Bridge into Trenton, police said.
The woman contacted Morrisville police, who in turn notified the Mercedes-Benz Corp. to activate the TeleAid system built into the car. The system, which allows car owners to communicate directly with the company via satellite, includes a global positioning device.
Morrisville police also alerted police in Trenton and other neighboring towns about the carjacking and gave a description of the stolen auto.
After the TeleAid system pinpointed the vehicle's location as the Calhoun Street area of Trenton, city Tactical Anti-Crime unit police officers Brian Suschke and Frederick Bender spotted the stolen Mercedes at West Hanover and Calhoun streets and immediately pulled it over about 7 p.m., city police said.
They found the vehicle occupied by three city residents, who were identified by city police as Prince Sarnoe, 18, of Spring Street; Hykeem Tucker, 19, of Spring Street; and Hakeem Brooks, 19, of Martin Luther King Boulevard.
Morrisville police said the three Trenton residents told officers they had "obtained" the vehicle from a white male, later identified as Strassler.
The men were able to lead city officers to Strassler, who was still in the area, and he was later positively identified by the woman as the man who had carjacked her, Morrisville police said.
Sarnoe, Tucker and Brooks were all charged by city police with receiving stolen property.
Strassler also was charged in Trenton with receiving stolen property and faces additional criminal charges in Morrisville related to the carjacking, police said. Strassler was being held yesterday at the Mercer County Correction Center awaiting extradition to Pennsylvania, police said.
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