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Northridge kidnapping suspect was seen in San Diego area, Chief Beck says

California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation-issued undated photos of kidnapping suspect Tobias Summers.
April 2, 2013 12:00:00 AM PDT
With one suspect apprehended in connection with the kidnapping of a 10-year-old girl from her Northridge home, detectives are hoping a recent sighting in the San Diego area of their second suspect will soon result in his arrest.

Although there are a lot of questions surrounding a motive behind the kidnapping, detectives are careful not to speculate about what they might have pieced together based on their investigation so far.

"This, of course, is a very delicate crime that has a victim," said Los Angeles Police Chief Charlie Beck on Tuesday. "We are trying to maintain some manner of solemnity to her situation. Until the arrests are made and until the indictments are signed in court, you won't have the full story.

"What I can tell you is that we have one suspect in custody who was involved, and we are searching for the primary suspect, who is Tobias Summers, who was last seen in the San Diego area."

Summers, 30, may have changed his appearance by shaving his head. He has a long criminal record dating back to 2002. Police said some of his crimes include robbery, grand theft auto, possession of explosives and kidnapping.

Police said Summers was released from prison last summer under California's AB 109 program, an initiative aimed at easing prison overcrowding. He was on post-supervised release.

Under the program, the state places oversight of prisoners released from lockup in the hands of local governments.

"Obviously, it would have been better to have him under more concrete supervision," Beck said of Summers. "As you all know, the Los Angeles Police Department puts significant resources into AB 109 monitoring. We have over 150 police officers who are assigned solely to that task that are unfunded by the state. It's a significant, significant issue."

However, Luis Patino of the California Department of Corrections said in a statement, "There is no such thing as 'early release' from state prison. In this tragic case, Summers would have been released from state prison at the same time before or after Realignment."

The California Department of Corrections also said Los Angeles County received more than $124 million in funding under AB 109 for the 2011-12 fiscal year and more than $272 million for the 2012-2013 fiscal year. And next year the funding will increase to $322 million.

The other suspect in the kidnapping case, Daniel Martinez, was taken into custody early Sunday.

The girl was snatched from her home in the middle of the night, sometime between 1 a.m. and 3:30 a.m. Wednesday. She was found later in the day around 2:45 p.m. wandering near a Starbucks at Canoga Avenue and Oxnard Street.

Authorities urge anyone with information on the suspect or the case to call the LAPD Robbery-Homicide Division tip line at (213) 486-6890 or Los Angeles Regional Crime Stoppers at (800) 222-TIPS.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.


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