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Conyers kidnap suspect faces similar charges in DeKalb

CONYERS -- A man charged with attempting to kidnap a woman and her infant grandchild in the Hobby Lobby parking lot in March has been charged in a similar incident at Stonecrest Mall.

Musa Muhammed Abdul Al-Karim, 28, of 279 Inman St., Atlanta, was arrested March 21 in Conyers after he allegedly held a 62-year-old Covington woman at knifepoint and tried to abduct her and the child in their car in broad daylight. Al-Karim reportedly accosted the woman as she was putting her grandchild in the car.

In a similar incident in February, Al Karim allegedly robbed a 31-year-old Stockbridge woman at knifepoint and zip-tied her to the steering wheel of her car.

According to a report by the DeKalb County Police Department, the victim stated that she was in the back seat of her car in a mall parking lot on Feb. 20 at about 4:40 p.m., putting her daughter in a car seat, when the suspect leaned into the car and asked her for money. When she said she had no money, the suspect reportedly asked if she had ever been stabbed.

The suspect demanded the woman's wedding rings and then told her to get in the front seat and drive him to the bank to get money. He reportedly told her that if she listened and followed directions he would not hurt her or her baby. He also told her to keep a smile on her face while driving. According to the report, the suspect stayed in the back seat and held the victim by her left side, threatening to stab her if she did anything "funny" while driving to the bank.

The woman withdrew $500 in cash from the Bank of America ATM located at Mall Parkway and Turner Hill Road. The suspect reportedly demanded more money, but the ATM denied the request. The suspect then told her to drive him to the rear of the Ross store in the mall complex.

She stopped the car behind Marshall's and the suspect reached forward, grabbed the victim's right arm and zip-tied her wrist to the steering wheel. He then took her car keys and told her he was going to put them beside the Dumpster near the car. He told her to keep her head down while he walked away.

The victim was able to retrieve an auto safety tool from the car's center console and cut herself free. A security guard making rounds saw the victim in her car, banging on the steering wheel and honking the horn. The victim told him what had happened and he called 911.

The victim said that she never actually saw a knife. Neither she nor the child was injured in the incident.

Thirty days later, Al-Karim was arrested in Conyers after allegedly attempting a similar abduction in the Hobby Lobby parking lot. This time, the suspect was armed with a butcher knife, which he allegedly held to the victim's throat. The woman in this incident screamed, which drew the attention of people in nearby stores and in the parking lot who came to the woman's aid. The suspect fled in a rented Nissan Altima, pursued by a passerby who jumped in his Cadillac Escalade and followed.

Police set up a perimeter and Al-Karim was arrested a short time later in the area of the U.S. Post Office.

At the time, Conyers Police Chief Gene Wilson said he did not believe this was the suspect's first offense.

Wilson said the suspect was wearing two pairs of pants, apparently so he could change his appearance, and had latex gloves and zip-type ties to use as handcuffs on him.

Al-Karim remains in the Rockdale County Jail on $82,000 bond. He has been charged with aggravated assault, armed robbery, entering an auto to commit theft or felony, giving false name to law enforcement kidnapping, possession of a knife during commission of certain felonies, possession of tools for commission of a crime, and obstruction of law enforcement officers in Conyers. Additional charges from DeKalb County are kidnapping, aggravated assault and armed robbery.