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Parolee crawled Web to find robbery victim

April 19, 2010 12:00:00 AM PDT
A parolee was charged with robbery, kidnapping and carjacking, and police say he found his alleged victims on social networking Web sites.Police say Angel Pena Ayala has a long history of violent crime. He was arraigned Monday and bail was set at $4.4 million. He's facing 25-years-to-life in prison, and police accuse him of setting up Internet dates that turned into armed robberies.

"Ayala was using social networking Web sites on the Internet to ultimately lure in victims," sad Hermosa Beach police Det. Jon Sibbald.

Sibbald said that Ayala's Internet postings led to a date with a Hermosa Beach man. The date quickly turned violent.

"He pulled out a handgun and asked the victim to start helping him load the victim's items into his car, loaded the victim himself into the victim's car and then kidnapped him. Essentially, he drove to a local ATM in Manhattan Beach and had him withdraw money," said Sibbald.

The victim was then released unharmed. Detectives lifted Ayala's fingerprints from the victim's apartment. Officers later arrested him at his L.A. home, but he tried to escape twice, slipping out of his handcuffs and trying to steal a police car.

Police say that this case highlights the dangers of meeting strangers on the Internet.

"You never know who is showing up at your house. These are straight gang members from L.A. coming to Hermosa Beach and victimizing Hermosa residents," said Sibbald.

Ayala is also a suspect in several armed robberies in West Hollywood. If you have been targeted by Ayala or if you know someone who was, police urge you to call Hermosa Beach police at (310) 318-0348.


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