By Mary O’KEEFE
A La Crescenta man has been charged with six felony counts that include kidnapping, assault and battery.
The Los Angeles Police Dept., North Hollywood Division, and Robbery Homicide arrested Jason Kies, 37, from La Crescenta on Friday after linking the suspect to two attempted kidnappings of female victims in the North Hollywood area.
On Friday, Kies allegedly attempted to kidnap a woman on Ben Avenue in North Hollywood at about 8 a.m. As the woman was exiting her vehicle, Kies is alleged to have grabbed her and attempted to force her into his vehicle.
About noon that same day, Kies got into a confrontation with a Marshall’s Department Store security guard in Studio City as he was attempting to steal property.
An hour later, Kies is suspected of following a second victim while she was jogging in the area of Tujunga Avenue and Sarah Street in Valley Village. The victim was assaulted and Kies allegedly attempted to force her into his vehicle.
Throughout the day, detectives worked and identified Kies as a possible suspect, said Lt. Alan Hamilton, LAPD.
Detectives placed Kies under surveillance and he was observed following a woman jogging alone in La Crescenta. He was following her along side streets. Detectives quickly moved in and arrested the suspect. The woman was not aware she was being followed.
“We have reason to believe there are additional victims,” Hamilton said. “We know he has engaged in similar [activity] through the years … He did not just wake up Friday morning [and do this].”
Kies was found to be armed with a knife but he did not use it during the attacks. Hamilton did add the suspect appeared to follow his victims and wait for them to tire. The attacks were described as “brutal” by LAPD.
“[Kies] punched [one of the] victims in the stomach and punched her [once] on the ground,” Hamilton said.
Detectives believe Kies also attempted to abduct a child in the past from a school in the Burbank or Glendale area.
On Friday, Kies was driving a gray GMC SUV, however he does have access to other vehicles that may have been used in other assaults.
Kies is now being held on a $2.2 million bail. His next court date is April 8 at the Van Nuys Municipal Court.
“We have no doubt there are more victims,” Hamilton said.
He encourages any victims or anyone with information to come forward.
Anyone with information is asked to contact law enforcement in his or her area. For Crescenta Valley Sheriff, call (818) 248-3464. For Glendale, call (818) 548-4840. For North Hollywood LAPD, call Det. Pinner or Perez at (818) 623-4090 or after hours at (877) 527-3247. Crime Stoppers can also be called at (800) 222-8477.