On Sunday, December 22nd, at approximately 1:00 PM, an 8 year-old Hispanic girl was taken by a stranger, while she was out riding her bicycle. The suspect forced the victim into the front seat of his vehicle and sped away. For the ensuing approximate 10 minutes, our department held its breath and our patrol officers flooded the area of 450 S. Valencia. Thankfully, this abduction was witnessed by two young women driving in the area. These observant and brave women immediately began chasing after the suspect, screaming for people to call 9-1-1. They eventually lost sight of the fleeing suspect vehicle, but were able to flag down an officer in the area.
Then a call was received advising that a car, matching our suspect vehicle's description, had crashed in an alley not far from the abduction site. A nearby officer immediately responded to find the little girl running toward him from an alleyway. The little girl was frightened and received minor injuries from the accident, but was otherwise unharmed. The suspect had apparently fled on foot.
Mesa Patrol Officers saturated the area, immediately setting up a perimeter around the entire neighborhood. Information from the witnesses and victim was transmitted to all units in the area. At approximately 1:45 PM, officers located the suspect, later identified as 22 year-old Robert C. Milliron, exiting a nearby business. He was taken into custody after a brief struggle with officers.
I can tell you, there are few investigations that affect a community and police department like those involving innocent children victims. Today, a little girl is safely reunited with her family and a suspect is behind bars. Were it not for the keen awareness and brave actions of these two witnesses, this situation may have turned out tragically different. Their bravery will be recognized. Well done ladies. Well done.