The Santa Monica Police Department is asking the public to remain vigilant and to report any suspicious behavior to police after reports of two attempted kidnappings in Santa Monica in the past three days.
SMPD Sgt. Jay Moroso said the first attempt occurred near the entrance to the Santa Monica Pier in the 1600 block of Ocean Avenue at approximately 8 pm on Jan. 15.
“The victim, who was walking on the sidewalk at the time, told police that the perpetrator approached her from behind in a vehicle passed her, and pulled over to the curb in front of her,” Moroso said. “He got out of the vehicle and stood near the car as if he was waiting for someone. As the victim passed, the suspect grabbed her in a bear hug and moved her a few feet toward the car, while ordering her into the car. As he did that, an unidentified person appeared in a stairwell in an adjacent apartment building, causing the suspect to let go of the victim.”
Moroso said the victim walked away and immediately reported the incident to the police.
He said the subject is described as a black male aged in his 30’s, a height of about 6’2” and weighing 200-230 pounds. He was further described as having a beard, short shaved hair, and wearing blue jeans and a black hoodie sweatshirt.
The vehicle the subject emerged from was described as a late model four-door black VW hatch back with tinted windows.
Moroso said the second incident occurred Friday, Jan. 17 at 10:30 am when the female victim was walking south on 14th Street in the area of Olympic Boulevard.
“She saw a male walking south, ahead of her on the same side of the street,” Moroso said. “She did not pay much attention to him and eventually passed him in the 1900 block of 14th Street. Moments later she heard footsteps behind her and felt the suspect grab her waist with one hand and covered her mouth with his other hand. He ordered the victim to get into a car. The victim screamed and the subject ran away northbound while the victim ran south to Pico Boulevard.”
Moroso said the victim did not see the vehicle involved in the crime but was able to identify the subject in this incident as a black male with a thin build aged in his 20’s and approximately 5’10” in height. He was further described as having short shaved hair, wearing dark colored shorts with an orange or red stripe on them and a matching short sleeve shirt.
“Detectives are currently conducting follow-up investigations regarding the two cases to include the review of surveillance video,” he said. “There has been no confirmation that the suspects in each crime are one in the same; however, the facts involved in both cases tend to point that way. The fact that the suspect(s) choose to commit one crime in daylight and both on well-traveled streets indicates that they are bold and they are dangerous.”
Moroso said in both cases the women were walking alone.
“Women should remain alert when walking by themselves and if possible, travel with a companion,” he said.
If suspicious activity is seen the public should call the Santa Monica Police Communications Center at 310.458.8491 or call 911 if the situation is an emergency. If anyone has any information regarding these crimes, call Detective Bambrick at 310.458.8932 or Detective Ahn at 310.458.8452 during normal business hours.