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Computers Get Line on 4-Year-Old Crime

January 23, 1986|MARC IGLER | Times Staff Writer

Los Angeles police investigators Wednesday credited a sophisticated, computerized fingerprint identification system based in Sacramento with helping to catch a 26-year-old man suspected of kidnaping and raping a Sherman Oaks woman more than four years ago.

The suspect, Charles Miles Jr., was arrested late Tuesday night in Santa Monica, Detective George Salazar said. When Santa Monica police learned that Miles was wanted in the San Fernando Valley, he was transferred to Van Nuys Jail, where he is being held in lieu of $80,000 bail, Salazar said.

Details on what led to Miles' arrest were not available Wednesday.

The attack on the 28-year-old woman took place on Nov. 17, 1981, Salazar said, when three men approached the victim as she arrived home. After forcing her back into her car, the men drove her to south Los Angeles, where she was raped and dumped out of the car, he said.

Police lifted a fingerprint from the car but were unable to determine whose it was until last October, when investigators entered the print into the state's computerized identification system, according to Lt. Al Durrer. When it was determined that the print belonged to Miles, a warrant was issued for his arrest.

For the Record
Los Angeles Times Saturday January 25, 1986 Valley Edition Metro Part 2 Page 8 Column 2 Zones Desk 3 inches; 72 words Type of Material: Correction
Because of incorrect information supplied by a police official, it was incorrectly reported Thursday that a 28-year-old Sherman Oaks woman was dumped out of a car in South Los Angeles more than four years ago after being kidnaped and raped. The woman actually fled in her car after she was raped and the kidnapers had left, authorities said Friday. One suspect, Charles Miles Jr., was arrested after a computer in Sacramento identified him through a fingerprint taken from the car shortly after the crime, police said.

Durrer said an attempt is being made to identify the two other suspects.

Police Department officials have been urging the city to purchase a computer system similar to the $6-million one owned by the state, contending that it could help solve as many as 25,000 cases annually. Having to process prints through the Sacramento-based state system is too time consuming, they say.

Other Suspects Identified

In the past, the computer system has helped identify such suspects as accused "Night Stalker" Richard Ramirez and those charged in the execution-style killings last fall of two college students in Westwood.

The City Council earlier this month voted to buy the system, but Mayor Tom Bradley has so far withheld approval.

Bradley has said he prefers to have the city use a regional or countywide computer system that would be less costly and that could be shared by many local law-enforcement agencies.

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