SANTA MONICA — On Wednesday, January 15 at around 8 p.m. and on Friday, January 17 at 10:30 a.m., two attempted kidnapping incidents occurred at Ocean Avenue and Olympic Boulevard. The first attempt occurred in the 1600 block of Ocean Avenue when a female victim, who was walking along the sidewalk, was approached from behind by a vehicle which was described as a late model black 4-door Volkswagen with a hatchback and tinted windows.
The vehicle pulled over to the curb in front of the victim and while she passed by, the suspect grabbed her in a bear hug and dragged her for a few feet toward the car while ordering her to get in. The suspect finally released the victim when an unidentified person exited from the stairwell of an apartment building nearby. Immediately, the victim walked away and reported the incident.
The second incident occurred when another victim was walking south along the sidewalk towards 14th Street. She saw a male who was also walking south ahead of her on the same sidewalk. After she passed him in the 1900 block of 14th Street, the suspect grabbed her waist with one hand and covered her mouth with the other. As in the previous incident, the suspect ordered her to get into the vehicle, which remains unidentified in this case. The victim screamed and ran south to Pico Boulevard while the suspect ran in the opposite direction.
The two suspects have not been identified as the same person, although their physical descriptions bear similarity. The first suspect was described as a black male in his 30’s and wearing blue jeans and a black hoodie. He was described as 6 foot 2 inches and between 200 to 230 pounds with short shaved hair and a beard. The suspect of the second incident was described as a black male in his 20s with a thin build and short shaved hair. He was described as 5 foot 10 inches and wearing a short-sleeved shirt and shorts, both dark-colored with an orange or red stripe on them.
Women are advised to walk only on well-lit streets in broad daylight. Since the suspects were bold enough to attack the women on busy streets and since the first incident occurred in the daytime, women are advised to be extra cautious by remaining alert at all times with a clear destination in mind, traveling in groups and keeping their distance from the curb to avoid passing traffic.
Detectives are currently investigating the two cases. “Detectives are still looking through and for surveillance footage regarding the attempt kidnappings,” said Sergeant Jay Moroso to Canyon News. “They have not found anything yet.” Anyone who detects suspicious activity is advised to call the Santa Monica Police Communications Center at 310-458-8491 or 911 in the case of an emergency.
Anyone with information regarding these crimes can call Detective Bambrick at 310-458-8932 or Detective Ahn at 310-458-8452 during their business hours. Anonymous tipsters can call Crime Stoppers at 800-222-TIPS (8477) or visit www.lacrimestoppers.org. If the information successfully leads to an arrest, the tipster can receive a reward of up to $1,000.