Police arrested an admitted Los Angeles gang member Wednesday for allegedly taking a car in December after punching out the owner in front of his 3-year-old son.
They also suspect he was the man who robbed a woman at gunpoint New Year’s Eve. Both attacks took place in Ahwatukee Foothills in the Lakewood area.
Lamar Henderson, 40, was booked into jail on one count each of robbery and auto theft, as well as being a felon in possession of a firearm, a probation violation from California.
“He did make the statement that he didn’t like the cops in this area,” said Sgt. Chris Kieffer, who along with his Neighborhood Enforcement Team (NET) made the arrest.
Henderson also admitted to police that he was a member of the Fudge Town Mafia Crips, “a violent gang out of Los Angels,” according to Kieffer.
Police got a break in the case when the sister of a Phoenix police officer noticed what she thought was a suspicious vehicle in an Ahwatukee Foothills apartment complex. Kieffer and this NET squad staked out the complex once they ran the plates and learned it was stolen.
“We watched the vehicle all day long and at 3 p.m., I think it was, we saw Mr. Henderson get into the vehicle with his wife and a child,” Kieffer said.
The undercover officers followed Henderson to a local supermarket and made the arrest without incident as soon as he got out of the car. His wife, Traci Henderson, was also arrested for auto theft.
That’s when officers ran the vehicle’s identification number, and they confirmed that it was the same vehicle that was stolen early in December, just a few blocks away from where the Hendersons now live in Lakewood, police said.
“Not a rocket scientist,” Kieffer said.
According to Sgt. Trent Crump, detectives served a search warrant on Henderson’s apartment and retrieved what they think is the handgun used in the second robbery.
“The investigation is continuing, and Lamar may face additional charges,” said Crump, a spokesman for the police department.