Suspect in Novato carjackings arrested following overnight search

Photo courtesy Novato Police Department Twitter account.

A 37-year-old Sonoma County man wanted for a carjacking and related armed crimes Saturday was arrested Sunday following an extensive multiple-agency search around the Loma Verde Open Space, Novato police said.

Novato officers responding about 7 p.m. to a reported collision and vehicle fire at the Shell service station at 401 Enfrente Road learned that a white SUV had been struck on U.S. Highway 101 by a black pickup truck that fled the scene.

The occupants of the SUV managed to escape as it caught fire and were hospitalized for minor to moderate injuries. 

Police say the pickup driver then robbed a man of his keys and phone at gunpoint at a nearby restaurant and fled in his vehicle, which was later found abandoned on Montura Way in Novato.

Multiple agencies - including the Marin County Sheriff's Office Drone team, San Rafael/Novato SWAT Team, San Rafael and Novato K9 teams, and California Highway Patrol officers - searched the area unsuccessfully overnight for the robber, identified as Aaron McKendrick.

An arrest was finally made after a resident reported seeing a man matching the suspect's description Sunday morning at Vineyard Road and Vivian Court. McKendrick was identified and taken into custody.

Earlier Saturday, McKendrick had robbed someone of a vehicle from the Camp Meeker area of Sonoma County and later in Petaluma had carjacked the black Chevy truck involved in the Novato collision, police said.