Tow-truck carjacker failure

Alleged erratic behavior and circumstances suggest crime of opportunity

A tow-truck driver and a pair of motorists getting help after experiencing a breakdown were able to thwart a carjacking attempt Thursday night (September 29) near Valley Center.

According to sheriff's deputy Shawn Silva, two stranded motorists were waiting for a tow truck to arrive at their location on Valley Center Road about a mile south of town when they were approached and harassed by a man, later identified as 21-year-old Nikos Wizner.

Scared by Wizner's "erratic behavior," the pair fled their car and crossed the street to a United Oil station, where authorities were summoned.

While waiting for deputies to respond, the tow truck arrived. Fearing for the driver's safety, the breakdown victims returned to the scene to warn the driver about Wizner.

While the driver was in the process of loading the car onto his truck's flatbed, Wizner snuck into the cab and attempted to drive away with the disabled vehicle partially loaded. A brief fight involving all of the parties ensued, which resulted in the suspect fleeing on foot with a handful of items stolen from the truck. He was soon apprehended by arriving deputies and booked into Vista jail on carjacking charges.

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