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Police helped by nearly empty gas tank in carjacked auto

December 24, 2021 GMT

SLIDELL, La. (AP) — A man stole a car at a suburban gas station before the owner could refill the tank, crashed and was caught after a chase that started when he was pumping gas at another station 20 miles (30 kilometers) away in New Orleans, police said.

Police in Slidell, near the eastern end of Lake Pontchartrain, said Arsenio Wells, 31, of New Orleans was arrested Thursday on one count of carjacking.

Public information officer Daniel Seuzeneau said Friday that he did not know whether Wells has an attorney who could speak for him.

The car’s owner told police that his car was taken at gunpoint about 4 p.m. Thursday, Seuzeneau said in a news release Thursday.

“Little did Mr. Wells know that the vehicle he carjacked had little to no fuel,” he wrote.

Witnesses told investigators that the Nissan Altima had headed toward New Orleans on Interstate 10. Police took off after him, knowing he couldn’t get far, the news release said.

Wells was pumping gas when a Slidell officer spotted him. He got back into the car and drove away but crashed shortly afterward and ran off.

Searchers found and arrested him without incident, police said.