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Wild carjacking on Route 58 leads to arrest of hallucinating homeless man

A car jacking that began Thursday afternoon in Riverhead ended later that night with the arrest in Rocky Point of a homeless man, according to a Riverhead police report.

The incident began at approximately 4 p.m. when police received a report of an attempted carjacking in the TJ Maxx shopping plaza on Route 58. A 67-year-old Baiting Hollow woman told police that a man had attempted to forcefully remove her from her car while she was in the parking lot.

While talking with police on her cell phone she observed the same man approach another car and get into that vehicle. “As the subject entered the Toyota, the female caller observed a young woman exit the passenger side as the male subject drove away, exiting the parking lot on Route 58 in an eastbound direction,” the report states.

Police responded to the parking lot and interviewed the first woman as well as a 10-year-old female who had been in the Toyota waiting for her mother to finish shopping, the report states.

A short time later the stolen vehicle was seen in the area of West Main Street by a uniformed sergeant on patrol. The sergeant was approached by a 79-year-old Riverhead man who said the man in the stolen vehicle stole his car and drove off.

Soon after that, police got surveillance footage that showed the subject was a homeless who had been involved in two incidents earlier in the same day. The man was identified as Carlos Vargas, 32.

At 7 p.m. Thursday Suffolk police received a report of a “suspicious male subject on Route 25A in Rocky Point … having an altered mental status. The male subject indicated he had consumed some type of hallucinogen and that he had been running from Riverhead police,” the report states.

This subject was indentified as Carlos Vargas. He was placed under arrest and transported to a nearby hospital for evaluation and later released to the custody of Riverhead police where he was processed on two counts of robbery and one count of attempted robbery. He is being held, pending arraignment.