Family kidnapped during violent home robbery in Westminster, police say

"This violent and disturbing crime is particularly disturbing, due to the young age of the two of the victims."

David González Image
Saturday, October 29, 2022
Husband, wife arrested in violent robbery turned kidnapping: Police
"It was scary as hell," one of the victims told Eyewitness News. "I thought I was going to lose my life honestly."

WESTMINSTER, Calif. (KABC) -- A husband and wife are accused of violently breaking into a home in Westminster and kidnapping a family, including a 14-year-old girl and a baby, have been arrested, police say.

According to police, officers responded to a home in the 14300 block of Pine Street early Thursday morning in reference to a kidnapping and assault with a deadly weapon.

When officers arrived, they found a man and woman bleeding from head injuries.

Police say the suspects, who have been identified as 26-year-old Michael Alexander Rodriguez and 30-year-old Bich Dao Vo, also known as Michelle Rodriguez, were armed with guns when they broke into the home and started demanding money.

Suspects Michael Alexander Rodriguez and Bich Dao Vo, also known as Michelle Rodriguez, were arrested in connection to a kidnapping and home robbery in Westminster.
Westminster Police Department

Eyewitness News spoke with the victims of the frightening crime on Friday, who say they're thankful everyone is safe.

"I'm just grateful to be alive honestly and escape the situation," said the female victim, who wished to remain anonymous.

"I was driving away. She waved me down and said, 'Yo, the house is flipped upside down!' So I came over here and checked out the house myself and the house was all ruined," said the woman's boyfriend, who also wished to remain anonymous.

However, they said inside the home they found blood in the kitchen that belonged to one of the victims' mother, who had been assaulted.

The victims say the two suspects then walked back into the home and locked the door.

"That's when he had a gun in his hand pointing it all at us to get on the floor and telling us what to do and whatnot," the boyfriend said. "That's when he pistol-whipped me and later on, he pistol-whipped her. He had already pistol whipped the mom."

A 14-year-old girl and a 6-month-old baby were inside during the incident, according to police. Police told ABC7 the baby is the child of one of the suspects and is not considered a kidnapping victim. They also said the teen is related to one of the suspects.

Police say the two suspects forced the victims into a U-Haul truck that was parked outside and drove them to a hotel in Costa Mesa, according to investigators. They were held there until the victims were able to run away early Thursday morning.

"[The children] weren't the ones that were being threatened or hurt," said the boyfriend. "They were already in the good. They were saying that they weren't going to hurt them so we already knew they were chilling so we just had to make sure we got help back to the room."

Police say the victims were able to escape and call 911. The two children were ultimately rescued from the hotel and were found safe, authorities said.

"[Michael Rodriguez] was in the shower so it was kind of like the perfect it time to run," said the boyfriend.

Wesminster Cmdr. Kevin McCormick said one of the victims was able to use a cell phone to call a friend, who he said sent a family member to pick them up and drive them back to Westminster.

Both suspects were arrested near Goldenwest Street and Westminster Boulevard that day. Police found a loaded .40 caliber handgun and a loaded AK-47-style rifle inside the van.

Investigators later learned Vo is related to the female victim, police said.

"It was scary as hell," said the female victim. "I thought I was going to lose my life honestly. I thought I was going to have my brain blasted behind the U-Haul, but thank God that didn't happen."

Both suspects have since been booked into the Orange County Jail and are facing a series of charges including kidnapping robbery, assault and child endangerment.

"There are no other known suspects at-large thanks to the efforts of the Costa Mesa and Westminster Police Departments," said Westminster Police Chief Darin Lenyi in a statement. "This violent and disturbing crime is particularly disturbing, due to the young age of the two victims. The Westminster Police Department Major Crimes Unit will be further investigating this incident."

The investigation remains ongoing.

Police are asking anyone with additional information to contact the Westminster Police Department Major Crimes Unit at 714-548-3773 or Orange County Crime Stoppers at 1-855-TIP-OCCS.

You can also submit at tip on Orange County Crime Stoppers' website.

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