Miami-Dade police on Monday said a man who abducted a Florida International University student at knife-point from a bus stop near the West Miami-Dade campus left behind a critical clue: He programmed his phone number into her cellphone before dropping her off.
The move helped police track down Carlos Jose Arana, 42, who is facing a charge of armed kidnapping.
“We can’t ask for a better criminal,” Miami-Dade Sgt. John Barrow said. “To try to leave his number with the person he abducted, you have to wonder what his mindset was.”
The woman, who was not identified, was waiting at a bus stop on the west side of Southwest 107th Avenue at 16th Street at about 11:30 Friday , according to an incident report.
A man in an older model white Jeep Cherokee approached her and asked her if she needed a ride, the report states. She declined.
He then said: “I have a knife, get in the car.”
She complied and he drove her toward Dolphin Mall, where she works, according to the report. Along the way “he touched her breast on top of her shirt.”
He then took her cellphone and dialed his own number in it. When they arrived at the parking lot, he continued to touch her, even though she told him not to, police said.
When she exited the vehicle she managed to get his tag number and describe the car to police.
Barrow said between the phone number and the details from the victim they were able to solve the case “pretty quickly.”
“Thankfully, he is arrested and away from other victims,” he said.