Four Men In Custody for Carjacking

Four people, including a 16-year-old, remain behind bars in connection with an armed car jacking that sparked a massive man hunt early Tuesday morning. All from the Hazleton Area, 29-year-old Leonard Montalvo-Rivera of Poplar Street, 23-year-old Jean Carlos Ventura-Betancourt, 18-year-old Wilson Peguero-Mateo of Tamarack Street and 16-year-old Joel Alberto Colon of Winters Avenue in West Hazleton were nabbed hours after they car jacked a Mountain Top woman’s SUV along interstate 81 around 2 a.m. Tuesday morning. Behind the wheel of that SUV was 23-year-old Maryanna Millner who told troopers she was stopped along Interstate 81 south at mile marker 160 when a vehicle pulled in front of hers and four men got out, walked to her window and started talking to her. Millner said she grabbed her cell phone during the conversation and that’s when one of the men took the phone and pointed a gun at her head. Pleading for her life, telling the would-be car jackers that she had a 4 month old baby at home, they put her in the back seat of the SUV, but then quickly told her to get out of the vehicle. The car jackers left Millner on the side of the highway where she ran to a nearby home for help. Police from all over the area were given a description of the stolen SUV and just before 4 a.m., a Weatherly Police Officer spotted the SUV and immediately the men fled into the woods, sparking the massive manhunt on the ground and in the air. For several hours Route 93 from Beaver Meadows south to Route 209 was shut down to all traffic. By 8 a.m. all four men were in State Police custody. All four suspects eventually admitted to police that they stole the SUV to strip the vehicle of the tires, radio and other personal effects. The 16-year-old is being charged as an adult. All four are locked up under a hefty one hundred thousand dollar bail each.

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