A man suspected of plotting the kidnapping of a child and planning to hold the child for ransom in a Westminster, Calif., self-storage facility has been arrested and is scheduled to be arraigned Monday.
According to a federal grand jury indictment that was unsealed yesterday, suspect Cesar Ariel Zapata-Landeros, 23, told a confidential informant of his plans to kidnap the child of a wealthy Orange County family and demand a $300,000 ransom. The suspect, who claims to be a Tijuana police officer, told the informant he had done security work for the family in the past.
Federal officials said the informant and Zapata-Landeros had three meetings, one of which was at a self-storage facility where the suspect rented a unit, allegedly to hold the child. Prosecutors claim Zapata-Landeros intended to force the mother's car off the road and take one of her children.
Zapata-Landeros was living in a Santa Ana, Calif., hotel at the time of his arrest. The FBI found no evidence he had ever been a Mexican police official. He was arrested approximately 100 years from the family’s home.
Source: Los Angeles Times, Man arrested in alleged OC kidnapping plot