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Van Nuys sexual assault victim triggers alarm for help

March 28, 2013 12:00:00 AM PDT
With their guns drawn, officers searched a building on Haskell Avenue in Van Nuys Thursday night, looking for an intruder.

The person who triggered the burglar alarm wasn't a burglar, but a woman who needed help.

"She broke into a business, where the alarm went off, met the officers when the officers responded to the alarm, and [the officers] noticed that she had some cuts to her face," said LAPD Lt. Damien Gutierrez.

The LAPD says the 23-year-old woman was beaten and sexually assaulted after she got into a pick-up truck with a man she says she didn't know.

"There was some sort of conversation in the vehicle, she directed the driver to go one direction and he decides to go a different direction, and alarmed her," said Gutierrez.

The victim eventually escaped, and broke into the building to get help. The suspect fled the area and police have limited information to go on.

"Just a male Hispanic in his 20s, and the vehicle was a 1990s Toyota pickup truck, possibly gray or blue in color," Gutierrez said.

Police say the victim was traumatized and it is unclear why she got into the vehicle with somebody she did not know.

Anyone with information on the suspect is asked to call the LAPD Van Nuys Station.


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