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Repeat carjacking suspect arrested after allegedly robbing driver at gunpoint in Indio


A 25-year-old man suspected of carjacking and threatening to shoot someone who gave him a ride while he was out of custody in a separate vehicle theft case is due back in court in late February.

Alexis Israel Lizarraga of Mecca pleaded not guilty Feb. 2 to one felony count each of carjacking, taking a vehicle without owner consent, and receiving a stolen vehicle, according to court records. He also pleaded not guilty to a misdemeanor count of being an unlicensed operator.

On Jan. 30, a man reported to Indio police officers that after giving Lizarraga a ride from Mecca to Indio, the suspect threatened to shoot him if he didn't give his Nissan Sentra to the suspect, according to Amy McKenzie of the Riverside County District Attorney's Office. The victim got out of his car, and Lizarraga allegedly drove it away.  

"When Lizarraga allegedly committed the crimes charged in this case, he was out of custody on his own recognizance for another vehicle theft that happened in December 2023,'' McKenzie wrote in a statement. "He was already charged in that case, which also included a charge of being a felon in possession of a firearm."  

Lizarraga pleaded not guilty Jan. 4 in that case to one felony count each of taking a vehicle without the owner's consent, receiving a stolen vehicle, being a convicted felon and narcotic addict in possession of a
firearm, and possessing ammunition, according to court records. He also pleaded not guilty to one misdemeanor count of being an unlicensed operator.   

The stolen vehicle that was reported Jan. 30 was found abandoned in Mecca the next morning and authorities subsequently served a search warrant at Lizarraga's home, according to McKenzie.

He was arrested and booked into the John J. Benoit Detention Center in Indio, where he remains held in lieu of $80,000 bail, according to inmate records.

The defendant is set to make his next court appearance Feb. 26 at the Larson Justice Center in Indio for both cases.

Article Topic Follows: Crime

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