Placer County pair held in tri-county car-jacking, assault spree

By: Gus Thomson, Journal Staff Writer
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Two Placer County men were in custody Tuesday after a three-county, three-day crime spree that the Placer County Sheriff’s Office believes started Saturday with a kidnapping and carjacking in Auburn. Dillon James McMahon, 22, of Roseville, and John Cody Adrian, 19, of Colfax, were arrested by Yuba County law enforcement after a high-speed chase near Marysville Monday night. That followed an attack Monday evening that seriously injured a 81-year-old Penn Valley resident in Nevada County. And the attack came after a 19-year-old Grass Valley woman was kidnapped and had her vehicle carjacked at gunpoint in North Auburn on Saturday and a 51-year-old woman had her Honda carjacked from in front of North Auburn’s Regional Park late Monday afternoon. McMahon and Adrian face attempted murder charges in connection with the Penn Valley assault, Undersheriff Richard Kimball, of the Nevada County Sheriff's Office, said Tuesday. The suspects were reported to have knocked on Gold Country Drive resident James Wright’s door and asked for money, he said. When Wright refused, the two attacked him, he said. Wright suffered serious head injuries and was airlifted to Sutter Roseville Medical Center after the attack, which was reported to authorities just after 6 p.m. Monday. Kimball stated Wright was struck several times with a crowbar. Witnesses at the scene indicated two suspects fled in a vehicle after the attack. About an hour later, McMahon and Adrian were arrested and booked into the Yuba County Jail on charges related to the assault. The first Placer County carjacking was reported at about noon Saturday. A male approached the Grass Valley teen’s car as she was leaving the Chase Bank parking lot and asked her questions through her open car window, Placer County sheriff’s spokeswoman Dena Erwin said Tuesday. The man said he had a gun and told the young woman to drive him to Taco Tree, farther north on Grass Valley Highway at Dry Creek Road, Erwin said. As they approached the restaurant, the suspect told the victim to pull over into the parking lot and – pulling out a gun – pointed the weapon at her and told her to get out of the car, she said. The woman did and the suspect walked around, got into the driver’s seat and drove away. The vehicle was recovered early Sunday morning in the Regional Park pond after an onlooker watched it being driven into the water, Erwin said. On Monday afternoon, a second carjacking was reported in Auburn. The woman victim was approached as she was leaving her car and two men showed a weapon before driving off in the Honda, Erwin stated. The Honda was the vehicle Yuba County law enforcement caught up to Monday night after a pursuit clocked at up to 120 mph. The suspects were transferred to Placer County and booked at the Placer County Jail, Erwin said. The Sheriff’s Office said late Tuesday that no mug shots of the two were being released while photo lineups involving all involved law-enforcement agencies continued. Erwin said McMahon and Adrian are charged with carjacking, assault with a deadly weapon and theft of a vehicle. McMahon is charged with carjacking and kidnapping in relation to Saturday’s incidents.