A 75-year-old woman from Pacoima was robbed of her savings after befriending two strangers who held her hostage and threatened her life if she didn't hand over $6,000.
The victim, Lidia Chavez, described the suspects as one tall woman with light brown/blond curly hair, light skin and green eyes and the other woman as short and stout with dark hair. They drove a black car and both women spoke Spanish.
Footage from the victim's home security system captures Chavez being dropped off at home by the suspects and exiting again with what the victim's daughter claims is a bag of money in her hand. The women drive Chavez to a local bank where she's forced to take out more money.
Chavez was later released safely in Sylmar where she sought refuge with nearby family and alerted authorities.
Chavez says she was going about her daily errands when she was stopped in the street by a stranger asking for directions. As they chatted, another woman approached them and joined in the conversation.
She was caught off guard when she excused herself monetarily and returned only to find her cart of belongings inside one of the women's vehicles.
The women were armed and threatened Chavez's life if she didn't get inside the car and comply with their demands. Chavez says she didn't think of calling authorities initially because she was paralyzed with fear.
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"She tells me she was just scared, she wasn't thinking straight," said Tatiana Salas, the victim's daughter. "She just wanted to give them what they wanted and get it over with so they could leave her alone."
The family believes this may not be the first time these women have pulled this act.
"From the questions they were asking my mom, it seems like it's something common, where they rob people, where they give them things to make them confused and disoriented," said Salas.
The family is relieved Chavez isn't hurt and hopes people will take this incident as a lesson to always be on guard.
"I just wanted to thank god that they didn't kill my mom or make her disappear forever," said Salas. "This has been traumatizing for us, but we'll get through it. I just want this to be known so hopefully someone will recognize these women and it won't happen to anyone else."