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Police arrest suspected serial carjacker

January 10, 2010 |  7:12 pm

Los Angeles police on Sunday arrested a man who threatened several residents in the San Fernando Valley and stole two vehicles over the weekend.

Police arrested Tyreese Basey, 31, of Los Angeles at a laundromat in Van Nuys this afternoon. They found a Black Ford Explorer in the parking lot that had been taken in a carjacking Saturday.

Police believe that Basey attempted to steal a car in the 7000 block of Calhoun Avenue in Van Nuys about 5:15 a.m. Saturday. He was unsuccessful.

Thirty minutes later, the suspect allegedly carjacked a vehicle in the parking lot of a doughnut shop two miles away, near Victory Boulevard and Fulton Avenue.

The man crashed the vehicle into a tree about 6:20 a.m. near the Skirball Cultural Center, police said. The air bag was deployed and the vehicle rolled over, but the suspect was able to climb out through the sunroof. He is believed to have sustained injuries.

The suspect then entered the home of a couple in their 90s in the 3300 block of Red Rose Drive in Encino, police said. He demanded car keys, but the couple managed to push him outside and lock the door. About 6:45 a.m., he was chased out of a nearby backyard by a homeowner.

By 8:15 a.m., the suspect was in the 3600 block of Sapphire Drive, where he stole a black Ford Explorer with the license plate 4WVP668, police said.

Police believe the man was reacting to an earlier incident or in a state of personal crisis. “He was not just a criminal, but a desperate and reckless criminal,” LAPD Capt. John Egan of the West Valley station said in a statement.

Basey was booked into Van Nuys jail on various charges, including robbery and carjacking.

-- My-Thuan Tran and Corina Knoll