Police believe a La Crescenta-Montrose man suspected of trying to kidnap two women Friday in the San Fernando Valley also attempted to abduct at least one other woman that day and has previously tried to take a child from a school.
Jason Kies, 37, was arrested about 6:30 p.m. Friday as he followed a woman jogging by herself on a side street in La Crescenta-Montrose, Los Angeles police Lt. Alan Hamilton said.
Police said they believe that was at least Kies' fourth encounter with a woman that day.
They said there was at least one victim whose identity they don't know. Officers urged that woman and any additional victims to come forward.
Hamilton said the investigation has shown Kies might have tried to abduct a child at an elementary school in the Valley, perhaps Glendale or Burbank, though police don't know when.
Kies approached women and asked for directions in two earlier Friday incidents that police know of -- one at 8 a.m. in North Hollywood and another about 1 p.m. in Valley Village, Hamilton said. He then tried to force them into his vehicle, but both women screamed and fought back, police said.
The second woman had martial arts training, which Hamilton said helped her escape. He said Kies "beat" both women.
"Each one of these victims refused to surrender," said Capt. Justin Eisenberg, commander of the LAPD's North Hollywood Division. "They refused to give up. They fought for their lives, literally, and because of their steps, because of their willingness to fight for their lives, they're alive."
Police said Kies tried to abduct another woman shortly after the Friday morning incident. They have not spoken with her.
Kies also scuffled with a security guard on Friday outside of Marshalls in Studio City, where he had stolen women's clothes and lingerie, Eisenberg said.
Detectives quickly identified Kies as a suspect.
LAPD Robbery Homicide Division detectives had been watching Kies when they saw him begin to follow a woman on a side street about 6:30 p.m. Friday near the 210 Freeway in La Crescenta, Hamilton said. Before Kies could do anything to the woman, police arrested him. Hamilton said Kies did not resist the officers.
Kies had a knife, but did not use it on either of the women police know of, Hamilton said. The first encounter was about 8 a.m. on Ben Avenue between Hesby and Addison streets in North Hollywood. The second was about 1 p.m. near Tujunga Avenue and Sarah Street in Valley Village.
Kies was booked on suspicion of kidnapping for purposes of committing a sex act, which carries a life sentence. He remained in jail but had not yet been charged Tuesday afternoon, the District Attorney's Office said.
The arrest surprised people in La Crescenta-Montrose, a quiet community bordering the Angeles National Forest where two women said they regularly leave their windows open.
"I'll rethink that," said June Loo, who's lived for 35 years in a house just down the street from Kies' home.
Teri Keshishyan, a mother of two, said she didn't know Kies but had seen him and his wife and two young children. Police said Kies worked as a grip in the movie business, but Keshishyan said she had heard he was out of work recently.
He seemed like a "very kind man,"
Keshishyan said, in what she'd always considered a safe neighborhood.
"You never know," she said. "It's, like, your next-door neighbor."
Police said Kies had no record of "serious or violent" felony arrests, but they suspect he has committed similar crimes in the past without being caught. Hamilton said Kies "has attempted to mask his activity" in the past, but did not explain what that meant.
Asked what police believe Kies planned to do with the women after he had kidnapped them, Eisenberg said his intentions were "very, very evil."
"I think he had the worst of intentions, and we've uncovered evidence that is exactly what his intentions were," said Hamilton, detective commander for the North Hollywood Division.
Hamilton would not elaborate. Eisenberg called it "one of the most unusual cases" he had seen in his time in North Hollywood.
Police said Kies drove a gray GMC sport utility vehicle during the attacks and was wearing sunglasses, a black baseball cap, black shoes, gray shorts and a gray shirt.
The LAPD asked anyone with information to call North Hollywood sexual assault detectives at 818-623-4090 or 818-623-4045.
People also can call the LAPD tipline at 877-LAPD-247 (527-3247). Those who want to remain anonymous can call Crime Stoppers at 800-222-TIPS (8477) or text the organization by sending "LAPD" followed by a message to CRIMES (274637).