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LOS ALAMITOS : Trucker Is Bound, Beaten by Hijackers

A truck driver was found bound, gagged and bleeding in the cab of a hijacked tractor and semitrailer on Seal Beach Boulevard early Wednesday morning.

The Lakewood division of the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department is investigating the robbery, hijacking and kidnaping of trucker Maynor Serrano of Paramount, Deputy Mary Landreth said. The FBI is also investigating.

Serrano, 25, left the Golden Eagle Express trucking company at 5:40 a.m. in a truck carrying 250 television sets valued at $70,000, Landreth said. He was heading for Circuit City in Walnut.

At 6:20 a.m. he stopped by the side of the eastbound Artesia Freeway near the San Gabriel River Freeway in Cerritos to check a bad tire. While he was doing that, four men stopped behind him in an unidentified vehicle. Serrano told police that two men, one armed with a semiautomatic handgun, ordered Serrano back into the truck and told him to drive east on the Artesia Freeway, Landreth said.

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About 20 minutes later, the men ordered Serrano to stop by the side of the freeway, where they bound his hands and feet, gagged him and covered his eyes with duct tape, she said.

They drove for about an hour and then stopped, leaving for about 30 minutes, Landreth said. The two men stopped again 40 minutes later, and as they were exiting, struck Serrano on the head and face with an unknown object, Landreth said.

A Newport Beach man was en route to work when he saw Serrano’s legs hanging out of the open door of the cab at 7:55 a.m. and called police. Serrano was taken to Los Alamitos Medical Center, where he was treated for facial cuts and bruises.

Volker Thielmann, terminal manager for Long Beach-based Golden Eagle Express, said Serrano was in good spirits.

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“He’s got five stitches and some lumps on his head but he’s doing OK. He’s as feisty as ever,” Thielmann said. “He looks kind of like Lumpy in Dick Tracy.”

Landreth said all the television sets were missing from the semitrailer.


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