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Topanga mall kidnapping: Lancaster man arrested

This split image shows a suspect wanted for allegedly kidnapping a girl from the Topanga mall and sexually assaulting her.
July 12, 2013 12:00:00 AM PDT
A 19-year-old Lancaster man has been arrested in the alleged kidnap and sexual assault of a woman at Westfield Mall in Topanga, police announced Friday.

Kioki Ray Snowden was taken into custody on Thursday. Police say detectives served a warrant at Snowden's residence, where evidence was recovered.

"He has a fairly minor criminal rap, but nothing that would suggest this kind of a crime. This is a big step in the wrong direction for him," said LAPD Lt. Walter Teague.

The alleged attack happened as the 19-year-old victim was walking to her car after leaving work at the mall on July 4 around 5:30 p.m. As she stood near her car, she was approached by the suspect, who pulled out a knife and forced her into her car.

"The suspect was waiting for her. We believe it was fairly random," Teague said.

She was then held hostage for three hours. The suspect is accused of forcing her to drive her car from the mall to Pasadena, then to San Marino and finally to downtown Los Angeles. Police say during that time, he stopped at ATMs and used the victim's card to take out money. He allegedly sexually assaulted her and released her near Union Station.

"The victim was a huge help in this, and I have all the confidence in the world that she'll make it through this," Teague said. "We're committed to her throughout the entire prosecution."

Snowden is being held on $1 million. Anyone with information is urged to call (877) LAPD-24-7.

Police are advising people to be careful when they go to their cars. Look around to make sure no one is following you.


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