DENVER (CBS4) – Denver police say a man has been arrested following the kidnapping of a woman at the Cherry Creek Mall.
The incident happened Wednesday afternoon in the west parking garage at the popular mall.
The woman, who is a security guard, says she was reporting to work at the mall when a man approached her with a gun. She says he robbed her and then ordered here to climb into the trunk of her Saturn Ion.
She managed to unlatch the trunk from the inside and escaped near 8th and Colorado. She then contacted police.
General Manager of the Cherry Creek Mall Nick LeMasters said he believes the victim’s training as a security guard helped.
“My immediate thoughts go to the victim, who I know personally and I’m just so proud of her bravery and her presence of mind to be able to get out of an extraordinary situation,” said LeMasters.
Police said Jefferson County deputies caught the suspect at about 3 a.m. Thursday near C-470 and Alameda. He crashed the victim’s car on highway 285, left the scene and called for a taxi.
A Jefferson County Sheriff’s Deputy found the abandoned crash site and began to search for the suspect connected to the stolen car. The deputy spotted the man inside the taxi, driving past the crash scene. The taxi was pulled over on C-470 and the William Lornes was arrested.
Lornes is being held in the Jefferson County jail on charges of leaving the scene of an accident, careless driving and aggravated motor theft. The charges of kidnapping are pending in Denver.
He has a criminal record dating back to 2005 in Colorado that includes arrests for drugs, robbery and motor vehicle theft.
Det. John White with Denver police said Lornes was very brazen considering where the crime happened and the time of day.
“Given the fact that this is one of our higher end and higher scale malls, that it took place in the middle of the afternoon, this suspect acted in a very bold and very dangerous manner,” White said.
The victim wasn’t physically hurt in the incident but she says it will take some time for her to recover emotionally.
“Emotionally we suspect it will take some time for her to recover but we’re giving her all the time she needs and making sure she has services to help her through the trauma that she’s endured,” said LeMasters.
Related Stories: Watch CBS4 Investigator Brian Maass’ report on Cherry Creek Mall security from Oct. 2010 below.