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Kidnapping suspect arrested after hours-long standoff with police in downtown L.A.

Hannah Frye, Mark Puente

July 30, 2019

Los Angeles Times

A man suspected of kidnapping his girlfriend was taken into custody early Tuesday after a five-hour standoff with police in downtown Los Angeles, officials said.

An LAPD SWAT team used tear gas to draw the man out of a gray Toyota Prius parked near the intersection of South Hill and West 3rd streets shortly before 8 a.m., said Lt. Chris Ramirez.

Officials said the man, identified by Los Angeles County sheriff’s officials as Robert Anthony Camou, 27, was being sought by sheriff’s investigators on suspicion of kidnapping his girlfriend in Monrovia.

Monrovia police informed the LAPD early Tuesday that the man may be in the downtown area in the Prius. Officers found the vehicle parked shortly before 3 a.m.

A man sleeping in the backseat refused officers’ orders to exit the car, so the SWAT team was called, Ramirez said.

Camou’s girlfriend, identified by sheriff’s officials as 31-year-old Amanda Kathleen Custer, was not in the car, according to police.

“We didn’t find anyone else in the car,“ Ramirez said. “He wasn’t being responsive. We used a small amount of tear gas to breach the car.”

The kidnapping investigation began early Monday when Camou’s parents called police to a home in the 600 block of Vaquero Road in Monrovia, where officers found blood, sheriff’s Lt. Scott Hoglund told reporters on Monday.

Investigators suspect Camou took Custer from the home against her will. A witness told authorities they saw him putting Custer in the rear cargo hatch of the Prius, Hoglund said.

It was not clear if she had been injured, he added.

“These two have had a dating relationship for at least two years,” Hoglund said. ``"There have been numerous domestic violence incidents between them.”

Anyone with information about the case is asked to call the sheriff’s Homicide Bureau at (323) 890-5500. Anonymous information can be provided to Crime Stoppers at (800) 222-TIPS.

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