On Feb. 1, at around 11 a.m., an elderly woman said she had the scare of her life while walking near El Dorado Avenue and Paxton Street in Pacoima.
The 78-year-old grandmother was delivering lunch to her daughter when she was followed by a man and a woman, and then forced into a car by them.
“She was put into a Dodge Durango, and the man and the woman kept asking her where the money was,” said a relative who first related the scary incident.
The grandmother, who spoke to the (italics) San Fernando Valley Sun/El Sol (italics) and asked that her name not be used, said she was first approached by the woman — whom she described as tall and slightly chubby and approximately 40-years-old. Then the man of about the same age showed up. He had short hair and weighed about 200 pounds.
They told her their names were “Mauricio Rodriguez” and “Margarita.” They prevented her from escaping by sandwiching her between them, and forced her to walk towards a car parked nearby.
“‘Get in,’ they told me,” she said. “We’ll take you to take the lunch to your daughter’ they told me,” she continued, after she told them where she was headed.
“I was scared,” she recalled, still shaken by the whole episode.
The man and the woman drove the grandmother in their vehicle for over an hour — but staying in the area nearby.
“They went around and around. At first they wanted me to take them to the bank,” she said.
The man and the woman kept talking incessantly, the grandmother said.
“They talked so much, one goes into shock. I was so scared,” she recalled.
They also kept asking her how much money she had in the bank.
“I thought ‘I’m being kidnapped,’ and I was afraid they would drop me (from the car) in the middle of the freeway,” the grandmother said.
Her House Is Robbed
Eventually, they took the grandmother back to her house. She said they seemed to know where she lived.
They told her to open the doors to the house, and once inside they took money and other valuables.
After, they put her back in the car and drove some more, before dropping the victim in front of the post office along Van Nuys Boulevard.
“They just told me ‘get off, get off, go buy some stamps,’” she related.
By then, she was petrified by the incident. “I couldn’t even talk,” the grandmother said.
She said she’s “still afraid.”
“I don’t even want to go to the door,” the grandmother said. “I already went to the doctor twice.”
Her family is also extremely worried about the theft.
They changed locks in the house and also installed video cameras. They are simply too afraid to even think about what happened.
The woman’s son, who asked to remain anonymous, said he now tries to check on his mother daily.
He also warned other senior citizens to be aware of their surroundings.
“They should go out in pairs or with a younger person,” the son suggested.
The family reported the incident to the Los Angeles Police Department’s (LAPD) Foothill Division. A detective told the (italics) San Fernando Valley Sun/El Sol (italics end) that the investigation has been turned over to the LAPD’s Commercial Crime Division.
A Suspected Second Kidnapping
On Monday, Feb. 13, the LAPD put out a notice asking for the public’s help in identifying a woman who may have been kidnapped in Sylmar.
Witnesses told the police of hearing a woman screaming for help about 11 p.m. on Sunday, Feb.12, at a gas station in the area of Foothill Boulevard and Hubbard Street, according to the LAPD.
Witnesses said they looked to see what was happening and found the woman with her hands and legs bound inside a dark-colored SUV with dark-tinted windows and damage to its driver’s side mirror, police said.
According to witnesses, inside the SUV were two men and a woman.
One suspect was described as a Latino man who is 5-feet 3-inches tall, about 150 pounds, with gray hair and deep facial wrinkles. A second Latino male suspect was described as being 20 to 30-years-old, 5-feet 9-inches tall, about 210 pounds, with short dark hair.
A third suspect was described as a Latina woman, 5-feet 7-inches tall, with long dark hair.
The SUV was last seen headed east on the Foothill (210) Freeway from Hubbard Street, with all three suspects and the bound woman inside, witnesses told the LAPD.
Anyone with information that could assist police in their investigation was urged to call the LAPD’s Mission Station at (818) 838-9800.
City News Service contributed to this report.