Birmingham police arrest, charge suspect in Avondale robbery-kidnapping case

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WIAT) — UPDATE MARCH 23: The suspect arrested and charged in the Avondale kidnapping appeared before a judge Thursday morning. The judge denied him bond.

ORIGINAL MARCH 22: Police tell CBS42 they have arrested and charged a suspect in the kidnapping of a woman who was walking up to her Avondale apartment on Tuesday, March 14, 2017, around 10:30 p.m.

According to Sgt. Bryan Shelton, the suspect approached her and pulled out a gun. Shelton says he demanded money, and when she told him she didn’t have any, he forced her into the back of her car, then later made her get into the trunk.

The victim told police the suspect drove to multiple unknown locations. Police believe he was using her card to get cash from ATMs. The victim was able to escape at a gas station on Bessemer Road. When he began to drive off, she was able to open the trunk and jump out. She then ran inside the gas station and called 911.

The Jefferson County DA’s Office says Manuel Ali Towns has been arrested and charged with two counts of fraudulent use of a credit card, one count of kidnapping and one count of robbery in the first degree. His bond is set at $500,000.

According to court records, Towns has a history with the criminal system. He pleaded guilty to five counts of robbery in the first degree in 2005 and 2006. He also faced other robbery and possession of marijuana charges, and a domestic violence-strangulation charge in 2014 that was later dismissed after being bound over to a grand jury.

RELATED | How to survive getting kidnapped and locked in a trunk

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