Woman kidnapped, savings stolen

SOUTH GLENDALE — Two women kidnapped another woman Wednesday afternoon, forced her to withdraw her bank savings and then burglarized her Pacific Avenue home, police said.

The Glendale woman, who was unharmed in the incident, was walking home about noon at Pacific Avenue and Oak Street when she was approached by one of the suspects, Glendale Police Det. Keith Soboleski said. The suspect then intimidated the woman and forced her into a vehicle which was occupied by a second woman.

"She assumed they had a gun and assumed they would hurt her if she didn't cooperate because of the way they acted," Soboleski said.

While the suspects reportedly didn't threaten violence, he said they grabbed her arm to lead her around.

The suspects drove the woman to the Bank of America on North Brand Boulevard and forced her to withdraw money from the ATM, Soboleski said.

When they saw that the woman had a large amount of money in her savings, they forced her to enter the bank and withdraw the balance. The suspects remained outside the bank during the bank transaction, Soboleski said.

The bank teller told police that the woman was acting nervous, but didn't know why.

After withdrawing her savings, the woman re-entered the suspects' vehicle and was driven home, where the two women stole some valuables and fled, Soboleski said.

Similar incidents have occurred in Glendale in past years, as well as in Los Angeles and Santa Monica, Soboleski said.

"This is a scam that is going on," he said.

The scam, he said, generally involves suspects who drive around looking for mostly lone Latina women. Some scammers try to sell fake winning lottery tickets in exchange for cash, Soboleski said.

"In some cases, they do threats of violence to another family member if they don't cooperate," he said.

Neighbors at the woman's apartment complex on Wednesday said they didn't hear or see the robbery.

The women were described as Latino and in their early 30s. One of the women had curly, black hair. The second woman was described as heavyset and had a brown hair that was worn in a ponytail.

The women were driving what the victim described as a four-door, gray sedan, possibly a Toyota.

Anyone with details about the attack is urged to call Soboleski at (818) 548-3987 or Glendale Crime Stoppers at (818) 507-7867. To remain anonymous, call the Los Angeles Regional Crime Stoppers' tip line at (800) 222-TIPS.

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