Corona, CA: Sheriff's Deputy Foils Kidnap

A 47-year old man from Corona, California has been booked into the Santa Barbara County Jail on $1-million bail, accused of kidnapping a teenage girl who he met on the internet.

At approximately 3:15am on Sunday, January 8, 2012, a Santa Barbara Sheriff's deputy was patrolling a residential area in Vandenberg Village when he stopped a vehicle for a traffic violation.

During the traffic stop, the deputy observed a teenage girl sitting in the passenger seat next to the adult male driver. When questioned why they were driving so early in the morning, the driver, Saul Padilla (DOB10/28/64), claimed that the girl was a relative who he was taking to the store. The claim was quickly debunked when the girl's parents were contacted and confirmed that they did not know Padilla.

The investigation revealed that Padilla and the girl had been communicating via the internet since meeting online approximately two years prior. Padilla had passed himself off as a 15-year old boy and arranged to meet the girl in person for the first time Saturday night/Sunday morning.

When the victim went outside to meet Padilla, he grabbed the girl and forced her into his car. Shortly after, the Sheriff's deputy spotted the suspicious car and initiated the traffic stop, interrupting the crime in progress.

Padilla was booked into the Santa Barbara County Jail on $1 million dollars bail for kidnapping (209(b)(1) PC), and lewd acts with a child (288(c)(1) PC).

Due to the age of the victim no other details are being released at this time. If anyone has information about Saul Padilla or any similar crimes, please call Sheriff's detectives at (805) 934-6170 or the Sheriff's Anonymous Tip Line at (805) 681-4171.

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