Toms River used car sale turns into violent carjacking after Lakewood man holds knife to seller’s throat

TOMS RIVER, NJ – On Tuesday, December 1, 2020 at approximately 8:50 PM police responded to Weston Drive for a report of a robbery in progress. Upon arrival officers met with the victim who stated he was selling a 2003 Honda Civic and had just met with two people who were interested in purchasing the vehicle, and the three of them took the car for a test drive.

After both suspects drove the vehicle they stopped at the intersection of Weston Drive and Ashford Road when the male suspect, who was sitting in the rear passenger seat behind the victim, grabbed the victim around the neck and placed a knife to his neck and stated “we’re taking this” repeatedly. The victim was able to escape from the male’s grasp, grab his cellular phone, and exit the vehicle. He ran to the nearest house and received help from the resident as the suspects fled the area.

A full description of the vehicle and suspects was sent to neighboring agencies through police channels, and less than two hours later the vehicle was located by Lakewood Police officers. As a result of the investigation Saheru El, 23 last known address Asbury Park, and Tonia Underwood, 18 of Lakewood, were placed under arrest without further incident. Mr. El was in possession of several knives at the time of his arrest. Mr. El was charged with First Degree Car- Jacking and Ms. Underwood was charged with First Degree Conspiracy to Commit Car-Jacking.

The incident is under investigation by Toms River Police Detective Steve Bucci and Detective Ryan Quinn. Also responding to the scene was the OC Sheriff CSI Unit. We would like to thank the Lakewood Police Department for their vigilance and assistance with this case.