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Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Everyday Towing Hero In CA

Kudos to this unnamed (yet again!) tow truck driver who assisted police with the arrest of a man suspected of planning to kidnap a 14-year old girl.
Here's the San Jose Mercury News story:

FREMONT — With an assist from a tow-truck driver, police arrested a Hayward man Saturday afternoon on suspicion of trying to kidnap a 14-year-old Fremont girl.

The driver was in the vicinity of Paseo Padre Parkway and Siward Drive in north Fremont about 12:20 p.m. when he saw the girl running away from a black Lincoln limousine, Sgt. Chris Mazzone said.

As the limo pulled away without the girl, the tow-truck driver followed it one block to Fremont Boulevard and snapped a picture of the state limousine permit posted in the back of the car, Mazzone said. The car did not have a license plate.

The driver then drove back to find the girl and call police.

The girl, who had been walking along Paseo Padre with two friends, told police that the limo driver pulled up next to her on Paseo Padre while she had stopped on the sidewalk to tie her shoelace, Mazzone said. She said that the driver opened the passenger side door, unbuckled his seat belt, leaned toward her and said something to the extent of "Get your ass in the car."

"The victim ran from the vehicle because she thought he was trying to kidnap her," Mazzone said.

Police used the permit photographed by the tow-truck driver to determine that the car was registered to a limousine service in Santa Clara, Mazzone said. Officers contacted the company and had it dispatch the limo driver for a fake pick up on Thornton Avenue where Fremont police were waiting.

Officers arrested Ali Mohammed Alieltaib, 47, of Hayward after he was identified by both the girl and the tow driver, Mazzone said. Alieltaib told police that he was on his way back from a class at Devry. He recalled seeing the tow truck in the vicinity of the incident, but didn't recall ever seeing the girl.

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