OXNARD : Suspect in Carjacking Arrested; Confesses

A man suspected of stealing an Oxnard woman’s car at gunpoint 10 days ago has confessed to the crime after being arrested in Los Angeles County, Oxnard police said Monday.

Lotonaulalo Taau, 22, of Lawndale was pulled over by Los Angeles County Sheriff’s deputies in Redondo Beach Sunday for driving erratically. A records check revealed the car had been stolen from 41-year-old Debra Zellis.

Zellis, a secretary at Mary Law Private School in Oxnard, leaped from the moving vehicle after being carjacked in the school’s parking lot. She was bruised but otherwise unharmed.

During an interview with an Oxnard detective, Taau admitted taking Zellis’ car, said Oxnard Police Sgt. Chuck Dunham. He also confessed to stealing another car in Los Angeles County.


That car had broken down and was found abandoned about 50 feet from the Oxnard school where Zellis works.

Dunham said it appeared that Taau would be tried in Los Angeles County on the first carjacking and then transferred to Ventura County to be charged with stealing Zellis’ vehicle.