Escondido police Monday arrested a man who three illegal immigrants claimed had kidnaped them in San Ysidro.
Martin Flores Martinez, 31, of South Gate, was arrested on suspicion of kidnaping, auto theft and attempted auto theft, according to Escondido Police Lt. John Wilson.
Police said Martinez was arrested while attempting to break into a car in the 2400 block of Cranston Drive in Escondido. After the arrest, police found three people in a pickup truck he allegedly stole earlier.
Wilson said Rosa Zamora, 30; Armando Zamora, 22, and Patricia Zamora, 20, all related, were taken in for questioning. They told police they had crossed the border from Mexico at 8 p.m. Sunday along with two other men when Martinez approached them, told them he had a gun and demanded that they go with him.
Martinez “just wanted the women, but he was convinced to take the brother also,” Wilson said. “He came to Escondido because it was on his route to (Los Angeles) and he just wanted to steal a car.”
Escondido police said the Zamoras made no attempt to escape from Martinez when he left to steal the car. They also didn’t escape during the hour it took police to find the Zamoras after Martinez was arrested.
All three identified Martinez as their kidnaper, police said. Wilson said police have no idea why Martinez kidnaped the family and said Martinez apparently was not a smuggler.
San Diego police originally had received a report of the kidnaping of two females and a male on the 800 block of West San Ysidro Boulevard Sunday evening, San Diego police spokesman Dave Cohen said.
San Diego police and Border Patrol agents conducted a search then, but turned up no suspects or victims.