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California Briefing / Santa Barbara

Odd parking job leads to arrest of two people

February 27, 2009|Steve Chawkins

When California Highway Patrol officers saw a car parked off a freeway late at night near Los Alamos, they became curious. When a bound man with a head wound in the back seat told them he had been abducted by the couple in the front, they became even more curious.

As a result, Daniel Caius Stevens, 33, and Krista Yee Carlsson, 29, are being held on $1-million bail in Santa Barbara County Jail, where they were taken after their arrest Tuesday on suspicion of felony kidnapping and extortion.

The San Francisco couple allegedly had driven to the Los Angeles area, where, seeking payment of a drug debt, they lured the 27-year-old man to a motel. Drew Sugars, a spokesman for the Santa Barbara County Sheriff's Department, said Stevens punched the man in the head and, with Carlsson, drove him around L.A. for 24 hours, seeking money from his acquaintances. "We've gotten video footage from places they stopped in L.A.," Sugars said Thursday.

Apparently unsuccessful, the pair and their alleged victim, whose name was not released, headed back toward San Francisco. Taking a rest break, they were found off Highway 101 at Aliso Canyon Road about 3:15 a.m. Tuesday, Sugars said.

The officers "weren't sure if it had spun out, or if it was just a weird parking job," he said. "It certainly caught their attention so they went to check it out."

Sugars said he did not know the amount of the alleged debt or whether the couple was allegedly attempting to collect it for themselves or for someone else.

-- Steve Chawkins

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