A Hollywood-style drama played out in Somerton on June 18 as robbers kidnapped a local teenager, invaded his parents’ home and stole tens of thousands of dollars in cash.
The abductors escaped with the teen despite a brief pursuit by the youth’s father, only to release him miles from his home, according to police and news reports.
The episode unfolded at about 1:30 p.m. on the 10100 block of Ferndale St. when three bandits grabbed the 15-year-old victim as he walked home from school, shoved him into a waiting car and bound him. The kidnappers then burst into the youth’s home with guns drawn and demanded the family’s valuables.
The boy’s father, Christian Garnica, told reporters that the invaders told them to “‘give us everything. Don’t lie. We know what you have already.’ I guess my son told them what we have.”
Authorities believe that the family may have had $30,000 in cash in the house, plus jewelry. The bandits also stole security equipment, which contained the home’s surveillance video. In making their escape, the robbers tied up the family, but Garnica was able to free himself.
“I got untied fast and I grabbed my keys and left. I followed them and chased those guys,” the father said.
He lost them on Roosevelt Boulevard. The crooks reportedly were traveling southbound in a silver Subaru station wagon. They freed the uninjured teenager in the area of 23rd and Fairmount streets. The three robbers remain at large. ••