Man Possibly Linked to Child Abduction Fears in Mar Vista Last Month Arrested on Unrelated Charge

Numerous Comments Showed That Neighbors Were Familiar With the Van and Concerned With the Driver’s Actions

By Zach Armstrong

A man who was recently arrested in Culver City, on an unrelated charge, is possibly the same one who Mar Vista residents feared made attempts of child abduction. 

Jose Noel Lara, 63, was arrested on Sunday by Culver City Police for an outstanding drug related felony. The arrest was made after police responded to a call about “suspicious activity” and located Lara’s white van on Moore Street off of Washington Blvd. 

Although Culver City Police PIO told Mirror Media Group that no radio calls or investigations looked into prior activity from Lara, his van is potentially linked to kidnapping fears that spread throughout Mar Vista and Del Rey last month after a local made a post on Nextdoor. 

In the Feb. 25 post, the local wrote “Our son (12) had a very strange experience today with a man in his 40s wearing a green cap and an older lady in this white van. They were tailing him as he walked to a friend’s house, pulled up ahead of him. The male got out of the van and opened the side door, then turned towards him. Our son was already feeling uncomfortable and went to cross the street. The guy followed him behind the truck watching him cross. Our son approached a couple walking their dog and asked them to wait with him, they did and then the guy walked back around, closed the side doors and got back into the truck and drove away, waving and smiling as though he knew our son. It was an older Chevrolet Express, white with lots of chipped paint. We have informed the police. They advised us to post this, to let the neighborhood know.”

Numerous comments showed that neighbors were familiar with the van and also concerned with the driver’s actions.

One man wrote “Just came home to this exact van outside my home on Kenyon and Louise. Told the driver in a green cap to GTFO the neighborhood and that we all know what they’re up to. He smiled and said he was waiting for someone and then drove 30 meters down the road.” Another woman commented “I have seen this same Van (it is very distinctive) driving around my neighborhood for some time now. And my instincts told me there was something very bad about this van.”

Comments left in recent days indicate this is the same van involved in the Sunday arrest made by Culver City Police. One person commented “Update! Culver City PD has him in custody,” while another posted “The van had been parked on Moore.”

in Hard, News
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