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News Release

Thursday, June 28, 2001

Media Relations

Kidnap/Extortion in Van Nuys Area

"Kidnap/Extortion in Van Nuys Area"


Van Nuys - On Tuesday, June 26, 2001, at 6:00 p.m., Robbery-Homicide Division, Robbery Special Section, responded to a call in the Van Nuys Area to assume the investigative responsibility of a kidnapping for the purpose of extortion. The victim and his family were allegedly held hostage by three suspects.

According to on of the victims, the suspects reportedly purchased a 1994 Chevrolet Corvette from him on May 2, 2001. The suspects paid $4,100.00 down and were to assume the loan balance of $11,000. On June 26, 2001, the suspects confronted the victim and his family at a local car lot and demanded a refund for the vehicle. The suspects alleged that the vehicle the victim sold them had been stolen. The suspects demanded $4,100.00 and threatened the victim’s life. The victim called his uncle to the scene to meet the suspect’s demands for money. The suspects accompanied the victim’s uncle to a second location, where the victim’s uncle agreed to pay the suspects $1,000.00 for the safe release of the victim and his family, with an additional $3,000.00 to be paid on June 27, 2001 at 6:00 p.m.

On Wednesday, June 27, 2001, at 3:00 p.m., the victim notified the police of the previous kidnap and that the suspects had recently called him demanding the additional $3,000.00 at 6:00 p.m. The suspects reportedly advised the victim they would meet the victim at his uncle’s business location at 6:00 p.m.

At 6:00 p.m. the suspects arrived at the Uncle’s business address (7-11 Store) and were arrested by Van Nuys Police Officers.

The suspects were identified as Eran Levi, Yaniv Cohen and Guy Cohen. They were booked at Van Nuys Jail.

This investigation is being handled by Robbery-Homicide Division, Robbery Special Section, Detectives J. Giroud and B. Richards, 213-485-2511.