A Tucson family escaped from kidnappers who snatched them in a busy parking lot at Arizona Mills Mall.
The man, wife and 18-month child had just finished shopping about 8 p.m. Thursday when a group of three or four armed Hispanic men in their 20s to 30s surrounded them and forced them into the victim’s vehicle.
“This family for whatever reason was specifically targeted,” said Sgt. Mike Horn, Tempe police spokesman.
Horn said the early indications were that the motive was financial but there was no indication it was related to illegal immigration.
The kidnappers drove the family members, who own a landscaping company in Tucson, to a house in the 12500 block of West Almeria Road in Avondale where they called a friend of the family to demand a ransom.
Horn said the husband was restrained throughout the ordeal.
The family didn’t recognize their captors. Police have not released the names of the victims.
The family managed to escape when an alarm in the house went off and the captors ran one way and the victims ran another.
“The victims were jumping into backyards to get away,” Horn said.
A neighbor who heard the commotion held the family at gunpoint and called Avondale police, who turned the investigation over to Tempe at around 1:15 a.m.
Police found the family’s abandoned Chevrolet Tahoe at 43rd Avenue and Thomas Road in Phoenix.
Police are looking for a white Ford F-150 pickup with chrome wheels in connection with the crime. Anyone with information is asked to call (480) 350-8311.