Residents and shoppers were fearful after an employee at the Westfield Topanga Plaza Shopping Center was kidnapped and sexually assaulted on the Fourth of July. Surveillance video captured the suspect, and the LAPD is asking the public’s help in identifying the man. Kim Baldonado reports from Woodland Hills for NBC4's News at 11 p.m. on Monday, July 8, 2013.
A 19-year-old woman was abducted at knifepoint as she left a Woodland Hills mall, then robbed, raped and forced to drive her captor around the county for three hours before he released her, police said Monday.
The kidnapping occurred about 5:30 p.m. on July 4 just outside of the Westfield Topanga Plaza mall (map), where the victim worked, said Los Angeles police Lt. Andy Neiman.
Authorities did not publicly release information until Monday because they believed they would soon arrest a suspect. However, no one has been arrested in relation to the case as of Monday, Neiman said.
The man forced the woman to make a withdrawal from an ATM, and he took the cash and her jewelry, Neiman said. The attacker then forced her to drive to Pasadena, and then to downtown Los Angeles, where he got out of the car and fled.
It was unclear where or when during the kidnapping that the rape occurred.
Anyone with information can contact the Los Angeles Police Department at (877) 527-3247 or CrimeStoppers at (800) 222-8477.
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