LANCASTER (CBSLA.com) — A man was in custody Tuesday on suspicion of kidnapping and sexually assaulting a 19-year-old woman.
James Smith, 35, of Lancaster was arrested less than two hours after he attacked the victim Monday, the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department said.
The woman was walking along 33rd Street West around 2 p.m. when Smith approached her from behind and forced her into his vehicle, officials said.
Smith took the victim to an abandoned home in the 43000 block of 33rd Street West, where he sexually assaulted her before fleeing, according to the Sheriff’s Department.
The victim then called authorities, who found Smith sitting in his vehicle in the 1000 block of West Avenue H-12 and arrested him.
“We’re just ecstatic we have a dangerous predator in custody and he’s no longer on the streets of the Antelope Valley,” Sgt. Brian Hudson said.
Investigators have linked Smith to three other cases – one dating back to 2012 in the city of Palmdale.
“We actually have connected him to that case via DNA,” Hudson said, adding that they have also tied Smith to recent sex assaults in May and June, when, authorities say, he lured women into his car before assaulting them.
“Similar vehicle involved, similar physical description of the suspect,” Hudson said.
Smith was being held on $1 million bail.
Anyone with information about Smith or the assaults was asked to contact the LACSD’s Special Victims Bureau at (877) 710-5273.