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Employee Kidnapped by 2 Men; Theater Robbed

Woman is forced into her car at a Lake Forest cinema. One abductor returns her there, entering with her keys.

October 07, 2003|Mai Tran | Times Staff Writer

Two masked men kidnapped a Lake Forest movie theater employee, then used her keys to rob the business of at least $5,000, authorities said Monday.

The unidentified woman was not injured in the 3 a.m. abduction Saturday at the Regal Foothill Towne Center Stadium 22 in the 26600 block of Town Centre Drive, Orange County Sheriff's Sgt. Mike Gavin said.

The woman, who had just taken a friend home and had returned to pick up something at the theater, was getting out of her car when she was accosted from behind by two men wielding a knife and handgun, Gavin said.

They forced her back into her car at gunpoint, covered her head and drove around the county for more than two hours, he said.

"We don't know where she was taken because her eyes were covered up," Gavin said. "They made threats and told her not to say anything or she'd get hurt. She was frightened."

Eventually, one of the men was dropped off someplace and the other man and the woman returned to the movie theater, Gavin said.

The man forced the woman into the theater, tied her up, then unlocked the safe and fled with between $5,000 and $10,000, Gavin said.

The woman freed herself about 7 a.m. and called authorities. Her car was found Monday by a patrol officer in a commercial complex in Lake Forest, several miles from the theater.

One of the men is described as Latino, about 5 feet 6, with a slim build and lettering tattoos on his neck.

The woman was not able to provide authorities with a description of the second attacker.

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