A bizarre Bay Area kidnapping spree took place last weekend involving the abduction of two women by the same suspect in separate incidents.
A 23-year old San Jose man named Kenneth Middlebrook was arrested Sunday in the city of Ione on suspicion of kidnapping a 19-year old San Jose woman and a 61-year old Mountain View woman on Sunday.
The San Jose woman told police that Middlebrook — who she did not know — approached her Alviso driveway Sunday evening and somehow convinced her to drive him in his own car to Mountain View.
Once in Mountain View, Middlebrook allegedly refused to let the woman leave the car. The woman played along, telling Middlebrook she would drive him wherever he wanted, and then promptly drove to the freeway and intentionally crashed into a Lexus around 6:30 p.m. according to police.
Middlebrook immediately fled the scene in his car. After the woman explained to the Lexus driver why she had intentionally crashed, the unidentified Lexus driver informed police of the kidnapping.
“She was afraid and didn’t have any other way. That’s why she forced an accident. It forces everyone to the side of the road.”
But Middlebrook wasn’t done, police said. After ditching his car in a nearby parking lot, Middlebrook allegedly broke into the home of a 61-year old Mountain View woman and forced her into her Lincoln Town Car.
Like the earlier incident, Middlebrook did not allow the woman to leave the car, this time driving her around the East and North Bay for hours.
By this time, police had already issued a bulletin detailing the incident, including a photo of Middlebrook to California law enforcement agencies.
Middlebrook and the woman ended up in the city of Ione, located about 40 miles southeast of Sacramento, when Middlebrook left the car and told the woman to wait for him.
After a few minutes, the woman drove off in her car, according to police.
Ione police detained Middlebrook after hearing the bulletin, when they found him “on foot, roaming around.” Middlebrook has since been returned to Santa Clara County.
Sgt. Jaeger had few words when analyzing the incidents’ odd nature:
“It’s a strange case.”