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Kidnaping Victim Freed; 10 Arrested

June 20, 1991|JIM HERRON ZAMORA | TIMES STAFF WRITER

Los Angeles police raided a Sun Valley auto body shop Wednesday and rescued a 25-year-old pregnant woman who they said had been kidnaped and held 36 hours for $210,000 ransom.

The kidnapers believed the woman had relatives involved in illegal drug dealing who could come up with the money, Detective William Stewart said. He would not say whether any of the victim's relatives, or any of 10 suspects in custody, were involved in drug activity.

Officers raided FC & M Body Shop in the 12300 block of Branford Street near San Fernando Road at 2:30 a.m. and found the woman in a room, Lt. Fred Nixon said

"The victim was unharmed from her ordeal and her name is being withheld pending further investigation," he said.

Four men, at least one of whom was armed, kidnaped the woman Monday from her home in the 1100 block of East 43rd Place in South-Central Los Angeles, Stewart said. Friends notified police.

During the next day and a half, the woman was moved from location to location, sometimes blindfolded or gagged, as her captors phoned repeated demands for $210,000 ransom, police said.

"We got a break in the case that led to the first arrest at 11 a.m. Tuesday," Nixon said. He declined to elaborate.

The first arrest eventually led police to the remaining suspects and confiscation of some firearms in Sun Valley, Nixon said.

The 10 people in custody include six men, three women and a 17-year-old, who was not further identified, police said.

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