PUBLIC SAFETY FACILITY — Santa Monica police are confident they have arrested the man responsible for the attempted kidnapping Sunday of a 17-year-old girl as she walked along Pico Boulevard.
Jefferdick Joseph Vega, 29, of Los Angeles, was arrested Tuesday around 1 p.m. after officers received a report of a suspicious person knocking on doors on the 800 block of Ocean Park Boulevard.
While checking the area, patrol officers spotted an older model Toyota Previa minivan that matched the description of the vehicle involved in the attempted kidnapping.
Officers ran a computer check and determined that the minivan was reported stolen. They conducted a traffic stop in the 800 block of Maple Street and took Vega into custody. During their investigation, Vega was identified as the suspect in the attempted kidnapping, police said.
He was placed under arrest and booked for kidnapping, vehicle theft and a parole violation. He was not eligible for bail.
Vega is expected to be arraigned today at the Airport Courthouse, according to the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department’s Inmate Information Center.
Police said the victim was walking eastbound on the 2900 block of Pico Boulevard Sunday around 8:42 a.m. on Sunday when she was suddenly grabbed by a man standing next to a blue-green, mid-90s minivan — possibly a Toyota Previa — with rear tinted windows.
Man allegedly tried to force the girl inside the minivan but she was able to fight her way free and ran into a nearby restaurant for safety. Police said the suspect got into the van and drove off at a high rate of speed.
Detectives were able to obtain a partial plate number for the suspect vehicle, as well as a fairly detailed description of the suspect.
The victim suffered minor injuries and was treated at a local hospital.
Detectives are continuing with their investigation and want to know if anyone else may have been targeted. Anyone with additional information is urged to contact Detective Chad Goodwin at (310) 458-8942, Sgt. Ira Rutan at (310) 458-8959 or the watch commander at (310) 458-8495. Anyone wishing to remain anonymous may call the WeTip hotline at (800) 78-CRIME (27463).
Tipsters can also contact Crime Stoppers by either calling (800) 222-TIPS, texting from their mobile phone, or by visiting www.lacrimestoppers.org. Callers may remain anonymous and may be qualified to receive a $1,000 reward from Crime Stoppers.