Santa Monica police warn women following 2 attempted kidnappings

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A man who tried to kidnap a woman as she walked down a Santa Monica street Friday may have also attempted to kidnap a woman in the city on Wednesday, police said.

The first attempt occurred at around 8 p.m. Wednesday on Ocean Front Walk, where a woman was walking on the sidewalk when a vehicle passed from behind and pulled over in front of her, according to Santa Monica police Sgt. Jay Moroso.

The suspect got out of the late-model black Volkswagen four-door hatchback with tinted windows and stood near the car as if waiting for someone, Moroso said.

"As the victim passed, the suspect grabbed her in a bear hug and moved her a few feet toward the car while ordering her into the car," according to Moroso. "As he did that, an unidentified person appeared in a stairwell in an adjacent apartment building, causing the suspect to let go of the victim."

The woman walked away and immediately notified police.

The second attempted kidnapping happened Friday at 10:30 a.m., when a woman walking south on 14th Street near Olympic Boulevard passed a man who had been walking ahead of her, according to Moroso.

The woman heard footsteps behind her and the suspect grabbed her waist with one hand and placed the other over her mouth while ordering her to get into a car, according to Moroso.

The victim screamed and ran south toward Pico Boulevard, while the suspect fled north, Moroso said.

One of the victims is 62 and the other is 28, Moroso said.

"There has been no confirmation that the suspects in each crime are one and the same, however, the facts involved in both cases tend to point that way, Moroso said.

"The fact that the suspect(s) choose to commit one crime in daylight and both on well-traveled streets indicates that they are bold and they are dangerous."

Moroso urged members of the public to remain vigilant and to report any suspicious behavior to police and that women should remain alert when walking alone or travel with a companion if possible.

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