Man who carjacked Lake Elsinore shopkeeper is sentenced

A 20-year-old man who carjacked a Lake Elsinore  shopkeeper and attempted to forcibly take another person’s vehicle in the same general area was sentenced today to a year in jail and four years probation.

Sawyer Lee Aston of Wildomar pleaded guilty last month to carjacking and attempted carjacking, as well as vehicle theft, robbery and receiving stolen property for offenses that occurred prior to the carjacking.

Riverside County Superior Court Judge Bambi Moyer certified the terms of the plea agreement and ordered Aston not to have any contact with the victims, identified in court records only by their initials, D.B. and L.W.

Moyer also cleared the defendant to receive mental health treatment through the Riverside University Health System following his release from jail.

According to sheriff’s Sgt. Luke Torres, Aston first came to the attention of deputies on the afternoon of Dec. 22, after his mother called from a Lake Elsinore shopping center on Grape Street, saying her son had walked away from her in an agitated state and that she believed he was armed and would probably hurt somebody.

Torres said deputies arrived moments later and encountered the manager of a jewelry store who said Aston had “pressed a pistol against his head” and demanded his car keys. The man refused to comply and got away from the defendant, according to the sergeant.

He said deputies quickly located Aston and took him into custody without a struggle. The firearm turned out to be fake.

After Aston was booked, detectives uncovered evidence that he was the perpetrator of a carjacking that occurred two days earlier in the 32200 block of Mission Trail, according to Torres.

During that holdup, a shopkeeper was walking out to his vehicle when Aston confronted him, aimed the replica handgun at him and demanded his car keys. The victim complied, and the defendant drove off, the sergeant said.

According to court records, the defendant perpetrated an auto theft and robbery in October, but no details were available regarding that crime.

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