Three young men were arrested while stripping a $75,000 Mercedes Benz stolen at gunpoint from Los Angeles Clippers basketball star Benoit Benjamin, authorities said Thursday.
The car, minus radio and wheels, was spotted with its back end propped on an overturned grocery cart and its front axle resting on the pavement behind an apartment complex in Southeast Los Angeles, Officer Robert Woodhead said.Police chased and caught three young men who they saw stripping the car, but a fourth man escaped. The names of the suspects were withheld.
The car had been stolen about five blocks away as Benjamin was coming from a friend's home about 7:25 p.m. Wednesday, sheriff's Deputy Roger Hom said.
Benjamin, who stands 7 feet tall and weighs 250 pounds, was walking toward his car parked in the friend's driveway when he was confronted by a man armed with a pistol. The man demanded the keys to the car and then fired a shot into the air, Hom said.
Benjamin handed the keys over to the gunman, who hopped into the white 560 SEL and drove off. Benjamin, 26, a starting center for the Clippers, was not hurt.