A man was carjacked in downtown Fort Lauderdale and kidnapped for hours by an armed suspect early Friday morning, almost a week after a woman was taken in a similar incident nearby.
Just before 6:30 a.m. Friday, an adult man was in his white Kia Optima near the 300 block of Southwest First Avenue when an armed suspect got in and ordered him to drive, Casey Liening, a Fort Lauderdale Police spokesperson said. The man drove around for two hours, Liening said.
In Saturday’s incident, an armed man approached a woman and another man who were inside a parked car near the 100 block of Southwest Second Avenue about 5 a.m. The man ran away, but the suspect got into the driver’s seat with the woman in the passenger seat and drove off with her. Similar to Friday morning’s carjacking, the man drove the victim around for two hours, stopping an ATM in an attempt to get cash from her. The suspect also allegedly sexually assaulted her.
It is not immediately clear whether the suspect in Saturday’s kidnapping, who police are still looking for, is the same suspect in Friday morning’s. Liening said “the circumstances appear to be similar.”
“FLPD cannot confirm at this time if the incidents are related, but we are investigating all possibilities, including that same suspect is responsible for both incidents,” Liening said.
The suspect in Friday morning’s carjacking beat up the victim, who had minor injuries, Liening said. The suspect eventually let the victim out before taking off in the car.
Shortly before 2 p.m., hours after police were in the downtown area passing out flyers with information on Saturday’s incident, officers found a Kia matching the car that was stolen Friday morning and pursued it on Florida’s Turnpike north into Palm Beach County, Liening said.
Fort Lauderdale Police officers, FHP troopers and Broward Sheriff’s and Palm Beach County Sheriff’s deputies all pursued the Kia, ultimately taking him into custody shortly after 2 p.m. Police did not specify where in Palm Beach County.
Liening said they were not able to confirm whether the person in custody is the suspect from either or both of the kidnappings.
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