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California IN BRIEF : MENLO PARK : Kidnapers Wrong About Woman

From Times Staff and Wire Reports

A pair of bumbling kidnapers abducted a woman and held her for ransom, mistakenly thinking the victim was a rich Iranian businesswoman, police said. “They were wrong on all three counts,” said Detective Sgt. Jon Easterbrook. “She doesn’t have any money, she doesn’t own a business and she’s not Iranian. She’s an Afghan-American.” The 47-year-old victim was released unharmed after her 4 1/2-hour ordeal, authorities said. Meanwhile, police are warning local Iranian-Americans about possible kidnap attempts. The kidnapers, who police think may be mother and son, forced the woman into a car at knifepoint as she walked home, police said. Her abductors then stopped at a house and made two collect calls to her husband. The kidnapers originally wanted $50,000, but reduced their demand to $4,000. They let the pleading woman go after she convinced them she did not have the money and showed a wallet empty even of one credit card, police said.


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