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Kidnapping suspect arrested after hours-long standoff with police in downtown L.A.

LAPD SWAT surround kidnap suspect
LAPD SWAT officers take kidnapping suspect Robert Anthony Camou, 27, into custody Tuesday in downtown Los Angeles.
(Irfan Khan / Los Angeles Times)

A man suspected of kidnapping his girlfriend was taken into custody early Tuesday after a five-hour standoff with police in downtown Los Angeles, officials said.

An LAPD SWAT team used tear gas to draw the man out of a gray Toyota Prius parked near the intersection of South Hill and West 3rd streets shortly before 8 a.m., said Lt. Chris Ramirez.

Officials said the man, identified by Los Angeles County sheriff’s officials as Robert Anthony Camou, 27, was being sought on suspicion of kidnapping his girlfriend in Monrovia.

Monrovia police informed the LAPD early Tuesday that the man may be in the downtown area in the Prius. Officers found the vehicle parked shortly before 3 a.m.

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A man sleeping in the backseat refused officers’ orders to exit the car, so the SWAT team was called, Ramirez said.

Camou’s girlfriend, identified by sheriff’s officials as 31-year-old Amanda Kathleen Custer, was not in the car, according to police.

“We didn’t find anyone else in the car,“ Ramirez said. “He wasn’t being responsive. We used a small amount of tear gas to breach the car.”

Robert Camou and Amanda Custer
Robert Camou is suspected of kidnapping his girlfriend Amanda Custer, authorities say.
(Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department )

The kidnapping investigation began early Monday when police responding to a domestic violence call at a home in the 600 block of Vaquero Road in Monrovia found blood, sheriff’s Lt. Scott Hoglund told reporters on Monday.

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Investigators suspect Camou took Custer from the home against her will. A witness told authorities they saw him putting Custer in the rear cargo hatch of the Prius, Hoglund said.

It was not clear if she had been injured, he added.

“These two have had a dating relationship for at least two years,” Hoglund said. “There have been numerous domestic violence incidents between them.”

Anyone with information about the case is asked to call the sheriff’s Homicide Bureau at (323) 890-5500. Anonymous information can be provided to Crime Stoppers at (800) 222-TIPS.


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