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FBI investigates increased cross-border kidnappings


Aired 4/19/09

Federal law enforcement officials in San Diego are concerned about the up-tick in kidnappings on both sides of the San Diego Tijuana border. FBI officials say they're investigating to see if the kidnappings signal a shift in drug cartels' tactics. KPBS Reporter Amy Isackson has details.

Four recent kidnappings have caught authorities' attention. In Bonita, men impersonating police grabbed Abelino Inzunza from his driveway. Cab company owner Jose Cano was abducted in Otay Mesa. And, in separate incidents, two U.S. citizens were snatched from their cars in Tijuana on their way to work.

The cases display the quintessential characteristics of Tijuana crime gangs. FBI Special Agent Jan Caldwell would not speculate as to the reach of the tentacles in the incidents on U.S. turf. But she says her agency is investing whether Mexican crime groups are expanding their repertoire.

Caldwell: "We are looking to see if the drug cartels are expanding their so- called business initiatives, if you will, and looking into doing kidnappings as a venture of theirs."

Authorities say no ransom demands have been made in two cases. Amy Isackson, KPBS news.

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