Bank teller helps save woman from kidnappers; suspect arrested

PHOENIX — An Arizona woman was kidnapped at gunpoint by a group of men, blindfolded and taken to two Phoenix banks where she was instructed to withdraw thousands of dollars with one of her captors by her side.

But at the second bank, the teller had a hunch something was wrong. It led to her rescue.

According to court documents, the 35-year-old victim was at the Bank of America with Alonzo Daniel Cabrera, 22, on Aug. 26 and was forced to withdraw money.

The teller noticed the woman appeared to be “in distress and visibly upset,” used a stall technique and called the police.

When officers arrived, they talked to the woman and Cabrera separately and found out she was the victim of a kidnapping, police said. Cabrera was then taken into custody.

Investigators said it started when the victim got off work and drove to her boyfriend’s apartment just after midnight on Aug. 26.

While in the parking lot, she was boxed in by two vehicles and five armed men with guns forced her into a gray, four-door vehicle and they took off, court documents said.

She was blindfolded with a T-shirt and taken to a house, where the suspects told her they had been watching her for the past two months and knew she had money, according to police. They apparently knew her family background, too.

The victim was then driven to an apartment where a man threatened to kill her family if she didn’t give them money. She was forced to fill out and sign three blank checks. One was for $19,000, the second for $10,000 and the third for $9,000.

A suspect then drove her and Cabrera to the Bank of America to withdraw $19,000, police said. However, she didn’t have her bank card so they left and went to another Bank of America to make a withdrawal. That’s when the teller alerted police.

Cabrera faces a count of kidnapping. His accomplices have not been found.