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City woman's abduction may be 'copycat'


A 33-year-old Baltimore woman was found tied up in the trunk of her car yesterday morning after she was abducted from the Mondawmin Mall parking lot by two men, police said.

In what they said may be a "copycat" case following the recent string of such crimes, Deborah Tanya Smith of the 1600 block of Burnwood Road was found locked in the truck of her 1989 Nissan Sentra after being robbed of $400 and driven around Baltimore for about six hours, said Sgt. Thomas Bannon of the Northwest District.

She was recovering in a hospital last night.

Ms. Smith reported that she arrived at the Mondawmin Mall parking lot shortly after 6:30 p.m. Sunday and was accosted by two strangers, one of whom carried a silver semiautomatic handgun, Sergeant Bannon said.

The men forced her back into her car, took the keys from her and demanded her money.

When she refused, the men forcibly took the cash from her pants and jacket and one of the strangers then punched her in the mouth, police said.

Ms. Smith said the two men drove her around the Fulton Avenue and Monroe Street areas for several hours before returning to the mall parking lot, where they tied her up and put her in the trunk, SergeantBannon said.

They drove the car to the 3100 block of Towanda Avenue, abandoned it and left Ms. Smith -- in the trunk of the car -- on the street.

About two hours later, at 5 a.m. yesterday, police received a call on the 911 line from a man who said a woman was locked in a trunk on Towanda Avenue.

After a police officer found Ms. Smith kicking and screaming in the trunk and transported her to Liberty Medical Center, police traced the phone call to a booth on Reisterstown Road, Sergeant Bannon said.

Police sealed the phone booth and attempted to obtain fingerprints, but so far no suspects have been identified, he said.

"We don't know whether these guys had anything to do with the other guys [in the downtown parking garage cases] or whether they're copycat types," Sergeant Bannon said. "It's anybody's guess."

Ms. Smith was in good condition at the hospital last night.

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