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Carjacking Suspect Allegedly Leads Cops On 100-MPH Chase Before Driving Off Cliff Into Ocean

John Kenyanjui escaped the flooding car and climbed up the cliff he'd plunged off of before being arrested, police said.

By Daniel Egitto
John Kenyanjui

A California carjacking suspect was arrested Tuesday after allegedly leading authorities on a 100-mile-per-hour chase that ended with his car flying off a cliff into the ocean.

Authorities responded around 3:30 p.m. Tuesday to reports of a man firing a handgun into the air before allegedly stealing a car near Santa Cruz, the Santa Cruz Sheriff’s Office said in a press release.

Deputies tried to make a car stop, but the suspect – later identified as 56-year-old John Kenyanjui – continued driving, allegedly reaching speeds in excess of 100 miles per hour as he drove toward Santa Cruz. Deputies broke off their chase for safety reasons as the suspect entered the city, but soon located the vehicle driving along a cliff by the ocean, according to the release.

The vehicle was then seen plummeting off the cliff into the water.

Authorities observed Kenyanjui escape the flooding car and climb up the cliff, according to sheriff's office. He was arrested and charged with carjacking, evading arrest, hit-and-run, and criminal possession of a weapon, according to a second press release.

This incident may be linked to another alleged carjacking earlier that same afternoon, authorities told the Los Altos Town Crier, a local newspaper.

Two hours prior to the Santa Cruz case, a man around 50 years old allegedly pointed a gun at the driver of a Mercedes idling at a stoplight in Los Altos. He allegedly demanded the driver hand over the vehicle – but when he got in, he wasn’t able to operate it, Sgt. Cameron Shearer told the newspaper. So the suspect allegedly approached an SUV behind the Mercedes and stole that car instead.

“It’s a possibility it’s the same guy from Santa Cruz, but we can’t say for sure,” Shearer told the Town Crier.

Kenyanjui is being held on $100,000 bail. It was not immediately clear whether he had an attorney who could comment on his behalf.

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