What did Steven Robert Sablan do? Suspect arrested after missing 13-year-old from San Antonio found in California

(Representative image via Getty Images)
Sablan has a criminal record dating back to at least 1979 (Representative image via Getty Images)

On Thursday, July 20, The Long Beach Police Department announced that they had arrested Steven Robert Sablan for his alleged role in abducting a 13-year-old from San Antonio, California.

On July 6, Sablan reportedly threatened the 13-year-old with a handgun, forcing her into his car before assaulting her several times over the course of three days. The suspect was accused of transporting the minor from Texas to California.

Trigger warning: This article concerns an assault case, the reader's discretion is advised

As reported by KTQV, Steven Robert Sablan is a 61-year-old from Cleburne, Texas. He is currently accused of kidnapping and transporting a minor, intending to engage in criminal s*xual activity. Sablan's arraignment is scheduled for July 31. The suspect could potentially face a maximum sentence of life in prison.

The timeline of the allegations against Steven Robert Sablan

The initial abduction occurred on July 6. The victim, who remains unnamed due to her age, was walking down San Antonio Street when Steven Robert Sablan pulled up beside her in a gray Nissan Sentra. Sablan is accused of drawing a handgun and forcing the girl into the car.

Sablan allegedly told the minor:

"If you don't get in the car with me, I am going to hurt you."

After abducting the 13-year-old, Steven Robert Sablan supposedly told her he would take her to visit a friend in Australia, something she had discussed with him at some point during their interactions. Subsequently, Sablan is said to have repeatedly assaulted the victim as they traveled across States, towards California.

WFAA reported that eventually, Sablan took the girl to Long Beach, where he parked at a laundromat. He reportedly told the girl to wait in the car while he took their clothes inside. At this point, the girl wrote a note that read, 'Help Me!' and held it up to the window, causing bystanders to call the cops.

Upon arriving at the scene, Long Beach authorities discovered Steven Robert Sablan standing outside of the car. Upon searching the vehicle, they found handcuffs, a BB gun, and a sign made by the girl. Authorities have not confirmed whether the BB gun was the same 'weapon' used to threaten the girl during the kidnapping.

At the time of the kidnapping, Sablan was already facing burglary charges in Fort Worth, Texas. Sablan had also been convicted of robbery with a deadly weapon in 1979 and robbery with a deadly weapon and burglary in 1985. In 2016, he was convicted of possession of a controlled substance.

The investigation into the recent allegations against Sablan was conducted by the FBI as well as the Long Beach and Cleburne Police Departments.

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Edited by Dev Sharma
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