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Carjacking suspect arrested after Petaluma hit-and-run

A Hayward man was arrested in Petaluma on Saturday morning after an elderly woman was injured in a hit-and-run collision involving a carjacked vehicle, police said.

The woman, an 81-year-old Petaluma resident, was driving a vehicle when she was hit at the intersection of Payran and East Washington streets at 7:10 a.m., Sgt. Marlin Christensen said.

She was transported to Santa Rosa Memorial Hospital with serious but not life-threatening injuries, he said.

At the scene, officers found the front license plate that had fallen off the suspect vehicle, and learned it had been taken in an Oakland carjacking earlier Saturday.

The vehicle's description was broadcast to Marin and Sonoma County law enforcement agencies, and Petaluma police began searching primarily on the city's east side, Christensen said.

Kimberly Mota, a Petaluma parking enforcement officer, spotted the vehicle in downtown Petaluma at 8:36 a.m. and radioed the information to patrol officers.

The vehicle was stopped with assistance from Sonoma County sheriff's deputies, and the driver, Raul Velazquez, 28, was arrested on suspicion of driving a stolen vehicle, carjacking, felony driving under the influence and causing an injury, felony hit and run and on an outstanding arrest warrant for a prior theft, police said.

He was booked into Sonoma County Jail without bail.


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