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Police hunt suspected kidnappers

January 04, 2014|By Jeremiah Dobruck

Detectives are looking for two suspects who impersonated law enforcement officers and briefly kidnapped an Irvine resident as part of a scheme to force their victim to pay them supposed back taxes.

Just before 8 a.m. Thursday, the Irvine resident got a phone call from someone claiming to be an employee at the U.S. Attorney General's office, according to an email from Irvine police Lt. Dave Klug.

The caller told the resident to go to a local store and purchase a reloadable debit card called a Green Dot MoneyPak to pay a specific amount supposedly owed in back taxes.

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When the victim refused, the caller threatened that law enforcement would arrest him.

"A short time later, a black Ford Crown Victoria pulled up to the victim's residence," Klug's email explained. "The vehicle appeared to be a police vehicle with dark tinted windows."

Two men got out of the car, identified themselves as law enforcement and put the victim, who'd been standing in front of his home, in the back of the car.

Under threat of arrest from the two impersonators, the victim purchased the debit card and was released.

The victim contacted police and described the two kidnappers.

The first suspect is described as 45 to 50 years old, about 6 feet 2 inches tall, with a dark complexion, black curly hair, a mustache, wearing a black suit, white shirt and back tie.

The second suspect is described as 50 years old, 5 feet 10 inches, with graying short brown hair, wearing a black suit, white shirt and black tie.

Police said both were described as Middle Eastern men with medium builds.

The vehicle they drove was a black 2000 Ford Crown Victoria with tinted windows and an interior safety cage but no light bar.

Detectives ask that any witnesses or additional victims contact Det. John Sanders at 949-724-7244 or jsanders@cityofirvine.org.

—Jeremiah Dobruck

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