Grandmother says strangers she helped with car trouble, treated to Whataburger attacked, robbed her

Jose Carbajal, 18, faces aggravated robbery charge

By Garrett Brnger - Reporter, Eddie Latigo - Photojournalist

SAN ANTONIO - A 79-year-old San Antonio grandmother learned earlier this month that no good deed goes unpunished.

Joan Baskin, a former teacher, said she tried to help two men with some car trouble and treated them to Whataburger, only to be attacked and have her car stolen. Her car has since been recovered, and San Antonio police said Jose Carbajal, 18, has confessed to his role in the robbery.

"I mean, I spoke Spanish with them, and I thought, 'They're just guys,'" Baskin said. "I learned my lesson, I guess."

Baskin said she had driven to her neighborhood's mailboxes in the 6500 block of Chasethorn Drive on March 10 when a man approached her.

"He said he didn't know (how) to work his car," Baskin said. "He had tire trouble."

Baskin said she loaned him a jack. At some point, another man drove up, and they tried to fix the first man's car.

Baskin brought the men to her house to grab some bricks from her yard so they could use them in the repair process. She even drove them to Whataburger, where she said she treated them to Sunday morning breakfast.

"I thought these are poor guys, and I never thought of anything else," Baskin said.

However, things turned sour after they arrived back in her neighborhood.

That's when Baskin went to look in the back of one of their vehicles. According to an arrest affidavit, she had lost her purse and wallet and asked the men if she could check in their disabled vehicle.

However, in talking to KSAT on Friday, Baskin was unclear in which car she was looking or for what she was looking. In any case, she said that's when she felt an arm around her neck.

"I said, 'What's going on here?'" Baskin said. "And I said, 'Hey! Hey!' really loud. And then I screamed help about six or seven times. Of course, no one heard me."

Baskin wasn't sure how the attack ended, but afterward she said she realized her car was gone.

"They had taken off in my car," she said.

According to an arrest affidavit, the men had been captured on surveillance video during their earlier trip to Whataburger that morning.

When police recovered Baskin's car the next day, Carbajal was identified as the driver, and according to his arrest affidavit, he had the same hat and forearm tattoo as seen in the surveillance video.

Carbajal was arrested on unrelated warrants, police said, but gave a full confession to the robbery of Baskin, including details that weren't released to the public. He faces an aggravated robbery charge due to Baskin's age.

San Antonio police said detectives are still investigating the case and are working to identify the second suspect.

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