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Suspect in carjacking, slaying dies at hospital

2:00 a.m. March 5, 2009

SAN DIEGO: A man suspected of killing his girlfriend, then carjacking a motorist and crashing the car Monday night, died Tuesday at a hospital, authorities said.

The county Medical Examiner's Office has identified the woman as Phet Omdara, 29, of San Diego. She was killed with a gunshot to the head.

Police believe Terry Sayachak, 28, of San Diego killed Omdara. He was alleged to have threatened his father with a gun Monday night in the Mountain View neighborhood. He then drove away with Omdara in his car, authorities said.

Officers started to follow Sayachak, but lost him when he ditched the car. He carjacked a motorist a few blocks away, then crashed on 46th Street.

The Medical Examiner's Office said Sayachak became unresponsive while in police custody after the crash. Paramedics performed CPR and took him to a hospital, where he was declared brain-dead. Sayachak died about 1 p.m. Tuesday.

It took police a few hours to find Sayachak's abandoned car on Elizabeth Street. Omdara's body was inside. –P.R.

Two 'hot prowl' break-ins spur advisory from police

OCEANSIDE: Residents are being urged to keep their homes locked and secured after two “hot prowl” burglaries early yesterday in Oceanside.

In those break-ins, prowlers entered homes on Via Malaguena near Douglas Drive and on nearby Manteca Drive, with residents still inside, police said.

The burglars made their way into the homes through open doors or unlocked windows on the ground floor, police said.

The first home burglarized is on Via Malaguena. Police said the prowlers then walked through the home's backyard and down a hill to the Manteca Drive residence.

In one of the break-ins, property was taken from a child's occupied bedroom. The child was not hurt, police said.

Residents should lock their doors and windows and keep lights on around their property, police said.

In the past six months in El Cajon, 21 similar burglaries have occurred in which a thief or thieves entered homes through unlocked doors and windows while the residents were sleeping and took items such as purses and wallets. –A.M.

Gang member shot in arm and leg in attack by teens

ESCONDIDO: An 18-year-old man was wounded twice yesterday in a volley of gunfire from a teenager in front of homes on East Pennsylvania Avenue in Escondido, police said.

Several rounds were fired, and two struck the man in an arm and leg, Escondido police Lt. David Mankin said.

The shooting occurred about 5:45 p.m. near Date Street. The man's wounds are not considered life-threatening, Mankin said.

Mankin said the victim, a documented Escondido gang member, refused to tell police anything about the shooting. However, witnesses told officers that the man was alone when two or three teens approached him and one opened fire with a handgun. They ran away and had not been arrested.

It does not appear that the victim exchanged words or fought with the shooter or his accomplices, Mankin said. –P.R.

Man stabbed in fight over roommate's car

SAN DIEGO: A man went outside to confront someone he thought was vandalizing his roommate's car early yesterday and was stabbed in the chest.

The man, 28, went outside his home on National Avenue near 36th Street, on the border between the Mountain View and Southcrest neighborhoods, about 2:40 a.m. and confronted a man on a bicycle who he believed was responsible for the damage, San Diego police said.

The two argued, and the bicyclist stabbed the man once, police said. The victim was taken to a hospital with what police described as a minor wound. –K.K.

Fake cash brings warning to residents and retailers

CHULA VISTA: Police are warning residents of an increase in counterfeit-money cases and are offering free training for workers at businesses in Chula Vista to help spot bogus bills.

Chula Vista police Detective Matt Smith, a financial-crimes investigator, said yesterday that an average of three to five fake-money cases have been reported weekly for months, including one this week. Victims have ranged from retail stores to fast-food restaurants, particularly along the Interstate 5 and Broadway corridors, he said.

Smith urged cashiers to watch for people using many bills for purchases and to evaluate each bill individually. In addition, he suggested watching for people making inexpensive purchases in an attempt to break larger bills, and to be aware of people trying to distract or confuse them while handling cash.

Smith said merely relying on an iodine marking pen – often used by retail stores – is insufficient because counterfeiters have defeated that technology. Chula Vista merchants interested in obtaining training for their staffs to prevent such fraud should call the department's property-crimes division at (619) 691-5146. –M.A.

Mechanic run over, killed by truck he was servicing

SAN DIEGO: A U.S. Postal Service mechanic died of injuries after being run over by the truck he was working on last night, San Diego police said.

The 56-year-old man's name was not released.

He was working on an Isuzu truck on Evening Creek North Drive near Sabre Springs Parkway in Sabre Springs, police Sgt. Alan Hayward said. He said the truck started rolling forward and that the mechanic tried to jump in to stop it.

The man slipped and fell into the truck's path. Witnesses called police about 7:15 p.m. The mechanic suffered a major head injury and was taken to a hospital, where he died, Hayward said. –P.R.

Man dies after stepping in front of tractor-trailer

RAMONA: An unidentified man apparently stepped into the path of a tractor-trailer rig in Ramona early yesterday and was killed.

The truck's driver was headed west on Main Street, or state Route 78, at Seventh Street just after 2:30 a.m. when the man appeared in his path, said California Highway Patrol Officer Ray Scheidnes.

The truck driver stopped after the impact and found the man's body pinned underneath, Scheidnes said.

The victim's identity wasn't known, and an investigation of the accident is continuing. –T.M.

Staff writers Pauline Repard, Angelica Martinez, Karen Kucher, Mark Arner and Tom Mallory contributed to this report.


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