Friday, March 7, 2003




The Lodi Police Department is seeking information leading to the arrest of a local resident that is wanted on kidnapping and rape charges.


On Monday, March 3, at about 6:30 AM, police responded to a 911 call from a woman needing help at Hwy 99 and Liberty Rd. in northern San Joaquin County.  They found a woman who reported that she had been kidnapped and taken to a ranch in the Herald area, where she was beaten and raped.  Her attacker was known to her, having been acquainted with him for some time.  She had come in contact with him in a social setting in the City of Lodi, and was subsequently kidnapped, on the previous Sunday evening.  Paramedics took the victim to an area hospital, where she was treated and released.


The suspect is identified as Martin Tapia, a 30-year-old Hispanic male.  He is 5”5” and 160#, and his date of birth is 7-10-72.   He usually resides in Lodi, staying at a ranch-hand trailer at the Herald ranch the rest of the time.  The trailer was where the woman was assaulted.  Tapia was gone from there when police arrived, and attempts to locate him in Lodi thus far have been fruitless.  He is not known to have a car.  Lodi Police Detectives are continuing to investigate leads and gather evidence in this case.  A warrant is being sought for Tapia, and he is arrestable on probable cause in the interim.


Anyone having information on Tapia’s whereabouts can call Lodi Police at 209-333-6727 or anonymously to Lodi Area Crimestoppers at 209-333-6771.  Callers who provide information leading to his arrest may be eligible for a cash reward.  Due to the violence of this crime, the public is urged to call police if the suspect is seen, and not attempt to confront him.


Media Contact: Sgt. William Barry at 209-329-2966 or  Photos of the suspect are to news media available via email, please email request to the above.