Gas thief tried to stab good Samaritan with pen, deputies say
Investigators identified their suspect in the Sept. 5 assault as Joseph Carlos Beltran, a College of the Canyons student who may be living in the Castaic area, the Los Angeles County sheriff's Santa Clarita Valley Station said in a statement.
Beltran allegedly had taken about 10 gallons of car from the car, which was parked in the 18500 block of Soledad Canyon Road, before he was approached by a man, Deputy Josh Dubin told The Santa Clarita Valley Signal.
"When this good Samaritan confronted him and asked if it was his car, the man told him there was nothing to worry about," Dubin told the newspaper.
The man "persisted," the newspaper said, which is when the suspect picked up the pen and tried to stab him.
"Luckily, the victim could defend himself," Dubin told the newspaper, saying the man "suffered some redness in the face and a black dot on his neck" where the pen hit him.
Gas thieves struck across California last month as prices skyrocketed, but most reported thefts occurred at gas stations.
Investigators said Beltran — described as a 5-foot-5, black-haired man weighing between 140 and 160 pounds — might be driving a white 1987 Mercedes Benz. Authorities said anyone who sees Beltran should not approach him and should instead call the sheriff's station at (661) 255-1121.
— Kate Mather
Photo: Joseph Carlos Beltran Credit: Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department