Boyle Heights Couple Taken on Ride of Terror

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A man allegedly robbed a couple at gunpoint at a Boyle Heights park Thursday, kidnapped them, robbed a second couple then demanded ransom money during a carjacking that ended in San Bernardino County, where the suspect was arrested and a kidnapped woman was safely rescued.

The crime spree began around 1 a.m., when two couples were meeting at Hollenbeck Park near East Fourth Street, according to Los Angeles police Capt. Gary Lopez.

A gunman approached one of the couples, robbed them and escorted them to their personal vehicle, a white Volkswagen Beetle, police said. He got into the car with them, and they drove around the neighborhood before stopping at a 7-Eleven, “at which point he asked them to telephonically contact the second couple, which they did,” according to Lopez.

“Upon their arrival, he proceeded to rob them as well,” Lopez said.

“It was at that point that he took one of the female victims and directed her to drive the vehicle from that location, leaving the other three victims at the 7-Eleven. Shortly thereafter, the victim that was with the suspect telephone and requested an amount of money for her release.”

Police were able to track down the vehicle, and a pursuit began, with the kidnapped woman driving. The chase reached speeds up to 90 mph on the eastbound San Bernardino (10) Freeway, but the pursuit ended in the Fontana area, where the suspect was arrested.

Lopez said it was unclear what the couples were doing in the park at 1 a.m.

He said the woman who was kidnapped was doing well, “considering the circumstances.”

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