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L.A. police rescue hostage in Riverside County

Police say the Van Nuys man was taken from his home Wednesday in a suspected kidnap-for-ransom case.

August 04, 2009|Joel Rubin and Robert J. Lopez

Los Angeles police on Monday rescued a hostage who had been shot in the stomach and held in a Riverside County home in a suspected kidnapping-for-ransom, authorities said.

The hostage was "taken by force" from his home in Van Nuys on Wednesday and taken to a two-story residence in an area of Riverside County near Corona, said Lt. Anne Clark of the Los Angeles Police Department's Robbery-Homicide Division.

She said one suspect was taken into custody at the scene and two others were arrested in Costa Mesa.

The hostage, described as a man in his 20s, had been shot once in the abdomen and was in serious but stable condition, police said. He was taken to a hospital. "The infection factor was very serious," Clark said.

Officer Karen Rayner, an LAPD spokeswoman, said a "large amount of narcotics" was recovered from the house.

Clark confirmed that the suspects were growing "a large amount of marijuana," and that the drugs were seized at the house. She added that the kidnappers had demanded a ransom.

"We can only suspect that the kidnappers believed the victim or his family would be able to pay a substantial amount of money," Clark said.

She declined to say how much money the kidnappers had demanded.

LAPD officers from the Van Nuys Division initially responded to reports of shots fired. Detectives took over the case and tracked down the hostage. They were aided by SWAT officers and deputies from the Riverside County Sheriff's Department, police said.

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joel.rubin@latimes.com

robert.lopez@latimes.com

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