Man accused of attempted kidnapping of teen in West Valinda

WEST VALINDA — Deputies arrested a driver for allegedly trying to kidnap a 16-year-old girl near a continuation school Thursday.
The incident was reported at 5:12 p.m. Thursday in the 900 block of Willow Avenue.
Lt. Arthur Scott of the sheriff’s Industry station said the teen was in front of Nueva Vista Continuation High School when a man in a Honda Civic pulled up.
Scott said the man asked if the teen needed a ride. She refused the offer.
“He got out of the car, opened the passenger door, told her to get in,” the lieutenant said.
The teen told the driver, “No.” The man then took a step toward the girl and tried to grab her arm, according to Scott.
The teen ran.
Scott said a relative of the girl confronted the driver as the man drove away. The suspect apologized, he added.
Brandon Sandoval, 21, was arrested late Thursday night in West Covina on suspicion of attempted kidnapping, Detective Alfredo Gomez said.
The West Covina man is being held at the sheriff’s Industry station jail on a $130,000 bail. Sandoval will be arraigned Tuesday at El Monte Superior Court.

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Covina man carjacked, kidnapped and robbed in Baldwin Park

BALDWIN PARK — Two armed men in a tow truck carjacked, kidnapped and robbed a Covina man this weekend as he was driving along Baldwin Park Boulevard, authorities said.
The crime took place about 1 p.m. Friday at Baldwin Park Boulevard and Merced Avenue, but was not reported to police until Saturday afternoon, Baldwin Park police Sgt. Chris Hofford said.
A 36-year-old Covina man was driving at Baldwin Park Boulevard and Francisquito Avenue when a white, older-model tow truck pulled up next to him, the sergeant said.
“The driver of the tow truck points a gun at him and tells him not to move,” Hofford said. “The passenger of the tow truck enters the victim’s vehicle and takes the driver’s seat.”
Also armed with a handgun, the carjacker blindfolded the victim and began driving with the kidnapped man as a passenger.
After driving for about 10 minutes, Hofford said, the carjacker abandoned the car and victim at Puente and Francisquito avenues, a little under a mile away. The carjacker fled after robbing the man of his wallet and cell phone. The victim was no hurt.
Police described the driver of the tow truck as a Latino man in his mid-30s, about 6 feet tall and 300 pounds. He was armed with a black pistol.
The second suspect, who drove around with the victim, was a white man, about 6 feet tall and 200 pounds, officials said. He was armed with a chrome handgun.
The investigation was ongoing.

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BREAKING: Another kidnapping reported in Whittier

WHITTIER — Police are investigating a report of yet another child abduction in Whittier late Thursday, though few details were initially available.
A 17-year-old girl made the report about 10 p.m., Whittier police officials said in a written statement.
The alleged incident took place about 5 p.m. on the El Rancho Drive side of Palm Park.
No further details regarding the abduction were available Friday.
“The department is currently investigating this complaint, but at this time we have not independently confirmed that the crime occurred nor the identity of the alleged perpetrator,” according to the police statement. “There does not appear to be any relationship between this alleged offense and the other recent crimes in Whittier.”
Police have investigated five additional reports of attempted kidnapping, kidnapping or child annoyance within Whittier since early February.

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Police: Man suspected of Uptown Whittier kidnapping not linked to other recent abduction attempts

WHITTIER — A registered sex offender arrested on suspicion of trying to kidnap a young woman Wednesday is not believed to be tied to a series of attempted child abductions in the city over recent weeks, police said.
Officers arrested David Polanco, 41, of Whittier Wednesday while witnesses detained him after he allegedly grabbed and tried to kidnap an 18-year-old woman in the 6700 block of Greenleaf Avenue.
The woman met Polanco earlier in the day and spent several hours with him before he grabbed her around the waist and tried to pull her toward him, Whittier police Officer Bradley White said.
Witnesses detained Polanco until police arrived and arrested him on suspicion of kidnapping, officials said.
The incident was the fifth incident of attempted kidnapping or child annoyance reported in Whittier since Feb. 5, however the initial investigation revealed Polanco was not behind any of the other incidents, Lt. Kent Miller said.
“A photo line-up was conducted yesterday and shown to all the victims,” Miller said. “(Polanco) was not identified.”
A man tried to kidnap a 12-year-old boy from a swingset at Parnell Park Tuesday, but was thwarted when the victim’s brothers — ages 13 and 14 — punched the abductor and freed the boy, police said. The boys and the would-be kidnapper ran off in different directions.
He was described as a Latino man between 30 and 40, about 5 feet 8 inches tall, of stocky build, unshaven, with a scar on his right cheek, according to Whittier police. He wore a dark hooded sweat shirt, dark shorts and white shoes.
In a separate incident, a man in a dark blue pickup truck with tinted windows had a suspicious encounter with a 13-year-old girl on the morning of Feb. 27 as she walked along Whittier Boulevard at Strub Avenue, Lt. Steve Dean said.
The driver, described as Latino, about 35 years old, 5 feet 11 inches tall, 200 pounds with a goatee, offered the girl a ride to school, police said. She declined, and the man handed her pocket change before driving off.
A week earlier on Feb. 21, police received a report that a man had tried to kidnap two young girls near Founder’s Memorial Park, but one of the girls, 11, managed to free herself and the other girl, estimated to be 7.
The kidnapper — a Latino man between 25 and 35, 5 feet 11 inches to 6 feet tall and of medium to heavy build — snatched the 11-year-old girl and placed her in the rear seat of his car, where the younger girl was already seated and crying, officials said.
The man walked away from the vehicle, and the 11-year-old girl got herself and the other girl out of the car. The older girl went home and contacted police, while investigators were not able to locate the younger girl.
The vehicle used in the attempted kidnapping of the two girls was described as a red, mid-size convertible with a tan top and softball-sized dent in the right, rear fender.
The driver of a car with a strikingly similar description was involved in two incidents involving three teenage girls on Feb. 5, police said.
In the first incident, the man asked a teenage girl if she wanted a ride as she walked in the 13000 block of Broadway, authorities said. When she refused, the man stopped the car and opened the door, prompting the young woman to run away and call the police.
A similar incident took place hours later in the 6700 block of Washington Avenue, when witnesses reported that a man told two teenage girls to get in his red convertible.
But the girls did not call the police and had not been located Thursday, Miller said.
Though the three incidents involving a strikingly similar red convertible with a tan top and softball-sized dent in the right, rear fender were believed related, the suspect did not appear to match the description of Tuesday’s near-kidnapping at the park.
“Right now, as it stands, we have a subject we believe is involved in the Parnell park incident, separate from the suspect in the red convertible incidents,” Miller said.
Anyone with information on any of the incidents was asked to contact the Whittier Police Department Detective Bureau at 562-567-9270.

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Police: Brothers fight off boy’s would-be kidnapper at Parnell Park in Whittier

WHITTIER — A 12-year-old boy playing at Parnell Park was grabbed by a man but escaped when his two brothers fought off the would-be abductor Tuesday, police said.
The attempted kidnapping occurred around 7:25 p.m. at Parnell Park, 10711 Scott Ave.
Whittier Police Lt. Jay Tatman said the 12-year-old was on the swings while his 13- and 14-year-old brothers were playing basketball when a man walked behind the younger boy.
Tatman said the man put the 12-year-old in a headlock-type hold, placed his hand over the boy’s mouth and told him, “Don’t say anything.”
The boy was pulled off the swing.
“The young victim was able to make some type of noise that alerted his older brothers,” Whittier police said Wednesday in a written statement. “They ran over to their younger brother and started punching, kicking and screaming at the suspect.”
The man then let go of the child and fled.
The suspect ran west through the park toward a residential neighborhood, police said, while the siblings ran in another direction, toward their home.
Officers searched the area for the man but didn’t find him.
The failed kidnapper was described as a Latino man between 30 and 40 years old, about 5 feet 8 inches tall and of stocky build. He was unshaven and had a scar on his right cheek, police said. He wore a dark hooded sweat shirt, dark short and white shoes.
It was unclear if he suffered injuries in the scuffle with the boys, Lt. Steve Dean said.
Tuesday’s incident was the second time in recent weeks that Whittier youths have freed themselves from would-be abductors.
But police said there is no indication Tuesday’s incident is connected to the Feb. 21 attempted kidnapping of two girls. Both girls also escaped from that suspect after being placed into his car near Founder’s Memorial Park at Citrus Avenue and Broadway. The suspect remains at large.
Anyone with information was asked to contact the Whittier Police Department Detective Bureau at 562-567-9270.

- Ruby Gonzales and Brian Day

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Girls escape from kidnapper in Whittier

WHITTIER — Police and community members were on high alert Friday following reports of a predator in a red convertible attempting to kidnap girls in Whittier.
The most recent kidnap attempt was reported Thursday near Founders Memorial Park, when an 11-year-old Whittier girl was kidnapped by a masked man, according to Whittier police. She escaped from the suspect’s car and freed another frightened 7-year-old girl already apparently being held captive in the car. <USDEFAULT>The girls didn’t know each other.
Lt. Kent Miller said the suspect also tried to lure three teens into his car during two separate incidents last week.
Police have notified all Whittier school district superintendents and are asking for the public’s help in identifying the suspect.
As a precaution, “Patrol is beefed up in the areas around schools,” Officer Bradley White said.
Area schools notified parents via recorded messages of the situation Friday morning.
A recorded message sent to Whittier High School parents advised, “While this did not involve any Whittier High students,<USDEFAULT> as a precaution for those who walk to school, for your safety, please make every effort to have your students walk in a group and report any suspicious activity.”
Thursday’s kidnapping took place about 2:35 p.m. in front of Founders Memorial Park near Broadway and Citrus Avenue.
Miller said the 11-year-old was walking alone when she was grabbed and put into the back seat of a convertible which had the top up.
“Apparently the suspect walked away from the car. She jumped out,” <NO1><NO>Miller said.
When the older girl opened the door, she and the other girl ran out in opposite directions.
The 11-year-old made her way home and called police.
Police had not found the younger girl Friday, White said. The department hadn’t received any reports of missing children.
Last week a 17-year-old girl was walking by herself in the 1300 block of Broadway at 11:25 a.m. Feb. 5 when the suspect pulled over and asked if she wanted a ride.
“After the victim told him no, he proceeded to stop the car and open the door,” Miller said.
The teen ran and called police.
Then around 4:40 p.m., someone reported a similar incident.
The witness was in the 6700 block of Washington Avenue which is across the street from Central Park. Police said the witness saw two high-school-aged girls get into a verbal confrontation with the suspect who told them to get into his car.
The man fled.
The witness wasn’t able to get the names of the girls and the police received no calls from the alleged victims.
In all three cases, the suspect was seen driving a red convertible with a tan roof. He was described as a Latino, 25 to 35, of medium to heavy build and between 5 feet 11 inches to 6 feet tall.
The kidnapping victim described the suspect as having short black hair with a tattoo of three dots on his left hand.
He covered his face with some sort of mask, “possibly a ski mask,” White said.
Police did not have enough information about the suspect’s appearance to create a composite sketch, White said. But investigators hoped that would change with the help of the public, as well as any victims who have not contacted by police.
Anyone with information is asked to call the Whittier Police Department at 562-567-9241 or Detective Woods at 562-567-9286.

- Ruby Gonzales (Brian Day contributed to this report)

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Woman fights off would-be kidnappers in South El Monte

Deputies are looking for three men who allegedly tried to kidnap a woman on her way to a restaurant Tuesday night.
The attempted kidnapping happened around 8:30 p.m. but was reported to deputies at about 11 p.m.
SOUTH EL MONTE — A 44-year-old woman from Los Angeles was walking to a restaurant in the 2300 block of Rosemead Boulevard when an older model Pontiac with three men pulled up next to her, according to Sgt. Lynette O’Brien of the sheriff’s Temple Station.
“They’re saying things to her in Spanish,” O’Brien said.
She said one of the passengers got out and tried to pull the woman into the car. The woman fought back.
A second man stepped out of the Pontiac and also tried to grab her. O’Brien said the woman bit one of suspects.
The suspects left.
The driver was only described as a Latino. One of his passengers was described as a Latino, 30 to 35, 5 feet 8 inches tall and 180 pounds.
The second passenger was described as a Latino, 30 to 35, stands 5 feet 10 inches and weighs 190 pounds.
They used a 2-door white older model Pontiac.

- Ruby Gonzales

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Hearing delayed in SGV attempted murder, kidnapping for ransom case

ALHAMBRA — A hearing was delayed Friday for a Monterey Park man accused of kidnapping a young San Gabriel Valley woman for ransom, cutting her throat and leaving her for dead in the desert, officials said.
DeQiang Song, 24, is charged with kidnapping for ransom and attempted murder in connection with the Sept. 8 incident.
An arraignment was scheduled for him Friday in Alhambra Superior Court, however it was continued to Nov. 22, court officials said.
Song allegedly kidnapped the woman, with whom he was acquainted, after taking her on a shopping trip in Arcadia, investigators said.
He allegedly bound her, demanded ransom from her father via telephone, cut her throat and abandoned her in a remote area of desert off the 15 Freeway between Apple Valley and Victorville.
The badly wounded woman walked about half a mile to the nearest home for help, officials said.
Detectives, who authorities said had been working with the woman’s father, jailed Song as tried to pick up ransom money in San Gabriel.
According to sheriff’s booking records, Song is being held in lieu of $2,050,000 bail at the Men’s Central Jail in Los Angeles.

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Sheriff’s officials investigate kidnapping for ransom

A man was behind bars in Temple City Thursday on suspicion of kidnapping a woman for ransom and beating her, leaving her hospitalized in critical condition, authorities said.
The suspect was described only as a man in his 20s Thursday due to an ongoing investigation, Los Angeles County sheriff’s spokesman Steve Whitmore said.
Officials learned of the incident after a person in Cerritos received a ransom call, Whitmore said.
“(The person) received a call from the suspect demanding money for the return of the victim,” he said.
As detectives looked into the report Wednesday, a woman in her 20s arrived at an Antelope Valley hospital where she was listed in critical condition with “severe injuries,” Whitmore said.
It initially appeared she had been beaten, officials added.
“While the investigation is ongoing, the victim was either released or escaped,” he said.
Hours later, officials said, deputies arrested the suspect and booked him at the sheriff’s Temple Station.
“We don’t know when and where the abduction actually took place,” Whitmore said, and information about how the suspect was arrested was not released.
Whitmore declined to say whether a sexual assault is suspected.
The investigation was being handled by the sheriff’s Major Crimes Bureau.
Sheriff’s officials both at the Temple Station and the Major Crimes Bureau deferred all comments to Whitmore.
No further information was available.

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Northern California molester/kidnapper possibly to two other missing girls

Also from the Wall Street Journal


Authorities said they are trying to connect Phillip Garrido, accused of abducting then 11-year-old Jaycee Dugard in 1991, to two other nearby child kidnappings in the late 1980s.
The police department in Hayward, Calif., said Tuesday that Mr. Garrido is “one of the strongest” of about 13,000 leads in their search for Michaela Garecht, a 9-year-old who was abducted from the Hayward area in 1988. The police department in Dublin, Calif., said Tuesday it is also investigating whether Mr. Garrido is connected with the 1989 disappearance of Dublin resident Ilene Misheloff, then 13, from near her middle school. Both cities are situated within an hour’s drive of Antioch, Calif., where Mr. Garrido and his wife Nancy lived.
Both agencies said they acquired search warrants and on Tuesday were scouring Mr. Garrido’s property in Antioch, where Ms. Dugard was allegedly held in the backyard for 18 years. Ms. Dugard resurfaced last month and has since been reunited with her family.

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