Would-be car thief thwarted by manual transmission

Monitor staff
Published: 8/22/2017 12:18:53 AM

A homeless man accused of carjacking a vehicle at knifepoint Friday in Concord is being held for lack of $25,000 bail.

Police said Oscar Ndibanje, 20, previously of Burlington, Vt., threatened the driver of a black Honda Civic by reaching through an open window with a knife.

But Ndibanje didn’t make it far from the scene of the alleged crime, according to reports. Concord police Sgt. Rob Buelte said Monday the car is a stick-shift, which Ndibanje did not know how to operate.

Ndibanje had initially asked the driver, Chase Haines, for a ride, but became agitated when Haines didn’t comply in that moment, according to an affidavit prepared by Concord police Officer Almedin Dzelic. Haines told police he was visiting a grave at the Blossom Hill Cemetery on North State Street, and had asked Ndibanje to wait for him nearby at the Yellow Submarine restaurant.

In response, Ndibanje said something to the effect of “don’t make me do this,” and pulled out a knife, while demanding that Heines get out of the car, Dzelic wrote.

Haines told police he complied and ran toward North State Street where he flagged down a passing motorist for help. He then called 911.

Dzelic responded to the call at 7:43 p.m. After speaking with Heines, Dzelic observed a man matching the suspect’s description walking north on North State Street, according to court records. Dzelic said he activated his cruiser lights, got out of his vehicle, identified himself as an officer and demanded that the suspect show his hands.

In that moment, the suspect, whom police later identified as Ndibanje, fled into the woods, the affidavit says. However, Ndibanje didn’t make it far before Dzelic caught up with him and took him into custody. He had a knife in his possession at the time, police said.

Ndibanje waived his arraignment Monday on a felony count of armed robbery and a misdemeanor count of resisting arrest.

In an interview with police Friday night, Ndibanje said he ran from Dzelic because he was scared.

“When asked about what had happened at the cemetery Oscar admitted to taking the car at knifepoint,” Dzelic wrote.

Court records show that Ndibanje has an extensive criminal record in the region and was out on bail at the time of the alleged robbery Friday night. Ndibanje had been released on personal recognizance following his arrest in late July on charges of theft by unauthorized taking and unlawful possession of alcohol.

Ndibanje has also previously been charged with drug possession, assault on a police officer and breach of bail.

(Alyssa Dandrea can be reached at 369-3319, adandrea@cmonitor.com or on Twitter @_ADandrea.)

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