Police are searching for a woman who wielded a knife in at least two carjackings in Orange County on Monday night.
The woman may be responsible for two carjackings and the attempted thefts of two other vehicles in Costa Mesa, Irvine and Tustin, police said Tuesday. The crimes all occurred within the space of about an hour. Of the motorists in the four incidents, one was hurt and suffered injuries that were not life-threatening.
It all began just before 6 p.m. Monday when the woman approached another woman who was sitting in a parked car in the 17000 block of Von Karman Avenue in Irvine. She ordered the woman to get out of the car, but the victim refused and the would-be carjacker fled, Irvine spokeswoman Farrah Emami said.
Then the culprit approached a man in the same parking lot, brandished a knife and demanded he exit his Volvo S80, Emami said. He did, and the woman drove away in the car.
About 10 minutes later, the knife-wielding carjacker approached a 27-year-old man who was stopped in traffic on the northbound California 73 near the Fairview Road offramp, Costa Mesa police said.
Using a 5-inch blade, she smashed the driver's-side window and ordered him to get out of his Toyota Prius, police said.
The man got out of the car, and she climbed in and drove off.
As police investigated the carjacking, they found the stolen Volvo from the earlier carjacking. The vehicle was abandoned with a flat tire.
Nearly an hour later, Tustin police said a woman tried to steal another woman's vehicle but was unsuccessful. Instead, the victim was assaulted and transferred to a hospital where she was treated for her injuries and released.
During their investigation, police also found the stolen Prius in Tustin.
Police from the affected cities said they were working together to find the culprit, who has not been identified.