A man allegedly kidnapped two people outside a Mcdonald’s restaurant on 7th and Alameda streets in downtown Los Angeles. His motive, according to law enforcement officials, was ransom, as the suspect demanded $8,000 from the two victim’s families when he fled. Officers with the LAPD robbery and homicide division are investigating the kidnapping as a possible human smuggling case.
Kidnapping is covered under California Penal Codes 207, 208, 209, and 209.5 PC and is described as “moving another person without their consent by using force or fear.”
The possible penalties for an individual convicted of kidnapping include 3, 5, or 8 years in California State prison as well as a maximum fine of $10,000. The case above, though, is a little bit different. Since the suspect allegedly asked for a ransom, the crime could be upgraded to aggravated kidnapping.
Aggravated kidnapping carries significantly increased penalties, which includes 5, 8, or 11 years in California State prison if the victim was under the age of 14 (the ages of the victims in the case above have not been released). Also, it’s possible to receive a sentence of life with the possibility of parole if the aggravated kidnapping charge includes an attempt to collect a ransom or otherwise extort money from the victim’s families as a result of the crime.
Both varieties of kidnapping, whether aggravated or simple, constitute serious and violent felonies and will result in a “strike” on the defendant’s record, if convicted, under California’s “Three Strikes Law.