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D.A. SEEKING ADULT TRIALS FOR TWO TEENS KIDNAPPING AMONG CHARGES.

Byline: Karen Maeshiro Staff Writer

PALMDALE - Prosecutors are seeking to try as adults two Palmdale teens, ages 16 and 17, who are accused of kidnapping an elderly couple from their home at gunpoint in the middle of the night.

The boys were arrested by sheriff's deputies Aug. 16 after deputies spotted the elderly couple's car driving without its headlights on, the boys in the front seat and the couple in the back.

``These are among the most serious charges you can have, abducting somebody in the middle of the night - an elderly couple - robbing them and abducting them from home completely without provocation,'' Deputy District Attorney James Bozajian said.

The boys, whose names have not been released because of their age, are scheduled to appear Oct. 31 in Sylmar Juvenile Court to set a date for a hearing at which a judge will determine whether they should face charges in adult court.

The 16-year-old boy also faces charges in connection with a July 30 home-invasion robbery in Palmdale and a robbery several hours later of a delivery truck driver, Bozajian said.

The boy and an accomplice are accused of robbing a couple in the middle of the night in a home on Third Street East in Palmdale. The robbers took the couple's Toyota Tundra pickup truck, stereo system, money, videocassette recorder and a wallet, Bozajian said.

Several hours later, the 16-year-old is accused of robbing a delivery truck driver who was unloading beer at a business in Lancaster. The victim was robbed of his wallet and beer, Bozajian said.

The 16-year-old is also charged with assault with a deadly weapon for a failed carjacking of a motorist about 3 a.m. Aug. 16, minutes before robbers forced their way into the elderly couple's home, robbed them and ordered them into the couple's car.

When deputies stopped the car in which the elderly couple were being driven through Palmdale, their captors ran. The two boys were arrested later.

Investigators believe the defendants were taking the victims to a bank to make a withdrawal out of an ATM machine.

Alerted by the motorist about the carjacking attempt, deputies were looking for the would-be carjackers when they saw the elderly couple's car driving without its headlights on at 3:20 a.m.

The deputies noticed the car's occupants were two teenagers with shaved heads and an elderly couple, and decided it look suspicious.

When the deputies turned on their patrol car's red lights, the car stopped and the two teenagers got out and ran, deputies said.

One suspect was captured quickly when he was spotted in another vehicle leaving an apartment complex in the 4100 block of East Avenue R. The boy had asked someone in the complex to give him a ride, and a deputy saw him ducking down in the back seat as the car passed.

The second suspect was captured several hours later inside a mobile home park near Avenue R and 45th Street East, following a search by a sheriff's helicopter and police dogs.

Deputies said they found a pellet gun and a knife that had been used by the robbers.

Investigators said they didn't know why the intruders picked the couple's home in the 4100 block of Saddleback Road, which is less than a block from where the carjacking attempt occurred.

One boy knocked on the couple's door, and when the man opened it he pointed a handgun at him and forced his way inside. The other boy then joined him inside and they demanded money and valuables, deputies said.

Not satisfied with their take, the teens ordered the couple into their car and drove off.

The carjacking had been attempted when a motorist stopped at the Avenue R and 40th Street East intersection, deputies said. A teen pointed a gun at the motorist through his window, but the motorist had his door locked.
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Publication:Daily News (Los Angeles, CA)
Date:Sep 29, 2002
Words:646
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