OAKLAND -- It was a citizen's tip that led to the Wednesday night arrest of a man suspected of beating an 89-year-old woman and stealing her car, police said.

Plainclothes officers caught up to Terrance James Hardy, 28, around 8 p.m., after a woman called Oakland police to report that he was walking on 73rd Avenue, police said. She recognized him from his photo, published in media reports about the alleged crime that took place Sunday outside an El Cerrito drugstore.

Oakland officers detained Hardy without incident and contacted El Cerrito police, who made the arrest. Hardy is expected to face charges of carjacking and elder abuse causing great bodily injury.

El Cerrito police say Terrance James Hardy, 29, punched an 89-year-old woman and pulled her from her car during a carjacking Sunday evening.
El Cerrito police say Terrance James Hardy, 29, punched an 89-year-old woman and pulled her from her car during a carjacking Sunday evening. (El Cerrito Police Department)

Police had been searching for Hardy since Sunday afternoon, when they were called around 1:55 p.m. to the parking lot of a CVS store on San Pablo Boulevard. Officers found the woman on the ground in the parking lot, where Hardy allegedly punched and dumped her before stealing her 1992 Toyota Camry.

On Wednesday, the woman still was recovering at a hospital, police said.

Hardy, who lives in Oakland, was convicted and sent to prison in 2008 for assault with a deadly weapon, officials said, and he has had numerous parole violations since then.

He also has been banned from all branches of the Oakland Public Library after a string of violent incidents, said Gerry Garzon, Oakland library director.

"He has a very violent history," El Cerrito detective Sgt. Dave Hartung said.

El Cerrito police received help from police in Oakland and Richmond, as well as the Oakland branch of the U.S. Marshals Service, which contacted El Cerrito police and offered its services.

Police said Thursday afternoon that the woman's car had been recovered, not far from where Hardy was arrested Wednesday evening.

Hardy was taken to County Jail in Martinez, where he was being held in lieu of $300,000 bail.

Staff writers Harry Harris and Kristin J. Bender contributed to this report. Contact Rick Hurd at 925-945-4789. Follow him at Twitter.com/3rderh.