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UCI police step up patrols near student housing after kidnapping attempt

U.C. Irvine police will have an increased presence on campus after an attempted kidnapping this week.
(Don Bartletti / Los Angeles Times)

UC Irvine police were increasing patrols around university apartments Tuesday night after a man tried to kidnap a female student earlier in the day.

About 5:40 a.m., a man in a blue Toyota RAV4 pulled up to the student, who was walking near a university housing complex in the 200 block of Arroyo Drive, and asked if she needed a ride home, UCI officials said. She told him she did not.

The driver then told the student he had a gun.

“He wanted her to get in the car,” UCI spokesman Tom Vasich said.

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When the student refused to get in the vehicle, the man drove off toward California Avenue. He drove an older-model, four-door car with something hanging from the rearview mirror, authorities said.

In a crime alert to the campus community, UCI police advised students to cross the street, yell or run to a well-lit area if they think they’re being followed. Authorities also reminded students about the safety escort program, which is available to anyone by calling (949) 824-7233.

Anyone with information about the incident is asked to call UCI police at (949) 824-5223.

    alene.tchekmedyian@latimes.com

    Twitter: @AleneTchek

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