Suspected kidnapping bank robber arrested
MIAMI (WSVN) -- Police have arrested a suspected bank robber who kidnapped a child during a carjacking and had been on the run since Wednesday.
The FBI confirmed they captured 48-year-old Pedro Luis Valdez late Thursday night at the El Nido Motel near Southwest Eighth Street and 31st Court.
Wednesday afternoon, police said, Valdez took a sport utility vehicle near Northwest 37th Avenue and 58th Street in Hialeah. The SUV belonged to a father who stepped out of the vehicle to get ice cream for his 3-year-old son, Daniel Rivero.
Valdez reportedly carjacked the SUV with the 3-year-old still strapped in his car seat. "The little boy is my life," said Manuel Rodriguez, the father of kidnapping victim. "When I see him going to another place, my heart went outside my body."
Meanwhile, Valdez was also wanted for two bank robberies in Miami-Dade County.
Authorities eventually found the boy safe at a TD Bank near Hialeah, about an hour after the carjacking, and went on a manhunt for Valdez.
Amber Loschiavo lived with Valdez for two or three years as his former girlfriend. "They showed the surveillance video of him at the teller, and they're saying that they're trying to place him at that. That was him a hundred percent," she said remembering the time when police were still searching for him.
Thursday night, witnesses said, police visited several Miami motels, asking if anyone had seen Valdez. Once several witnesses saw a clear picture of Valdez they recognized him.
The suspect was only recently released after serving 10 years in federal prison. "He's not a joke," Loschiavo said. "He's a very, very dangerous man."
Authorities cleared out the motel, and they brought out Valdez and arrested him. Loschiavo said, when she heard Valdez had been released from jail, she felt terrified, as their relationship had been a rocky one. "I'm just very, very relieved and pleased," she said. "Now we can live our life. I don't have to hide anymore. I'm sure he's gonna be away for a long time now.
Valdez remains in federal custody. He appeared before a federal judge Friday afternoon and was given a public defender. He faces several charges including kidnapping and stealing a car.
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