Through the quick actions of a Good Samaritan to call for emergency assistance, LBPD officers were able to safely rescue an out-of-state kidnapping victim and arrest the suspect.
On July 9, 2023, at approximately 10:19 a.m., officers were dispatched to the 100 block of East 10th Street regarding an unknown trouble call.
Upon arrival, officers contacted a 13-year-old female victim who was visibly emotional and distressed. Through their investigation, officers learned the Good Samaritans were in a parking lot when they saw the victim in a parked vehicle holding up a piece of paper with “help me” written on it. They acknowledged the note and immediately called 9-1-1.
Officers located and detained a male adult suspect.
Through further investigation, officers learned that on July 6, 2023, the victim was approached by the suspect in his vehicle near a bus stop in San Antonio, Texas. He pointed a gun at her and demanded her to get into the vehicle.
Detectives and the Sexual Assault Response Team responded immediately and started investigating the incident. Through their investigation, detectives gathered sufficient information that the victim had been sexually assaulted while the suspect transported her across state lines from San Antonio to Long Beach. Detectives also recovered a replica firearm, which resembled a semi-automatic pistol, inside the suspect vehicle.
“I want to commend our community members for their vigilance and willingness to get involved by calling 9-1-1. This incident highlights the critical role community members play in keeping people safe,” said Chief of Police Wally Hebeish. “I would also like to acknowledge our officers for their swift response and actions which led to getting this victim to safety.”
Detectives contacted the San Antonio Police Department and the Department of Children and Family Services (DCFS) regarding the incident.DCFS took custody of the victim.
The suspect was taken into custody and transported to Long Beach City Jail for booking. He is identified as Steven Robert Sabalan, a 61-year-old resident of Cleburne, Texas and was booked for kidnapping, lewd and lascivious acts with a child, and fugitive from justice.
The Federal Bureau of Investigation will be the lead agency in investigating this case. The investigation is ongoing.