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Suspects arrested in Encinitas kidnapping attempt

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A tip from the public July 28 led to the arrests of two men sought in connection with an Encinitas kidnapping attempt, the San Diego Sheriff’s Department announced.

The men, identified by authorities as Christopher White, 27, and Jeremiah Owens, 28, were booked into Vista Jail on July 28, facing charges of kidnapping with the intent to commit rape, false imprisonment, assault with the intent to commit rape and conspiracy, the Sheriff’s Department stated.

“The response from the North Coastal Sheriff’s Station, as well as help from the media in getting the information out and the public calling in tips, led to a quick arrest in this case,” Sheriff Bill Gore said in a department report.

The attempted kidnapping happened July 26 around 5:30 p.m. in the 1600 block of Neptune Avenue in Leucadia when a 15-year-old girl was waxing her surfboard in the driveway of her home, authorities said. A man came up from behind her, pinned her to the ground, and tried to drag her into an older blue model pickup truck parked along Grandview Street, according to the Sheriff’s Department. The girl escaped, running back to her home.

When the incident was reported, the Sheriff’s Department sought the public’s help in finding the alleged assailants.

On July 28 at around 11 a.m., a member of the public spotted a truck matching the description of the suspects’ vehicle in the 1400 block of Summit Avenue in Leucadia.

Deputies responded, pulled the truck over and detained a man fitting the description of a suspect in a sketch that was released to the public, the Sheriff’s Department stated. White was later identified as the suspect from the sketch and arrested.

Further investigation led to Owens, who was taken into custody without incident at his home in Escondido at about 6:40 p.m. by the Regional Fugitive Task Force.

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Suspects arrested in Encinitas kidnapping attempt