An 18-year-old Lancaster man with a criminal record was being held Friday on $1 million bail in the kidnapping and rape of a store employee at Westfield Topanga mall in Canoga Park, officials said.

Kioki Ray Snowden was arrested at his home about 1 p.m. Thursday on suspicion of kidnapping, officials said. He was being held at the LAPD's Van Nuys Jail pending the formal filing of charges.

Snowden is accused of abducting a 19-year-old mall employee as she left work at 5:30 p.m. July 4. Authorities said she was accosted in the parking lot by a knife-wielding man, who forced her into her car and held her hostage for three hours.

During that time, officials said, he made her drive him around the San Fernando Valley and Los Angeles. He also sexually assaulted her and used her ATM card to rob her bank account.

The Los Angeles Police Department released mall surveillance photos of the suspect on Monday, but Lt. Walter Teague noted it was "good, old-fashioned police work" that led to Snowden's arrest. "We had a good description from the victim and the [security] video, and that helped us run down leads," said Teague, who is assigned to the elite Robbery Homicide Division.


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At the time of his arrest, Snowden was on probation for crimes committed as a juvenile, Teague said. He could not release details of the suspect's criminal record but said the previous offenses "were nothing like" those of which he's now accused and that the victim did not know her alleged attacker.

He advised both women and men always to be aware of their surroundings. If accosted, he said, scream for help.

"Never get in the car. You don't get in the car. If the fight's on, it's on. I don't mean to sound paranoid, but people need to take precautions to protect their own safety."