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4 arrested for luring men into kidnap, robbery with a Facebook post, police say

Victims forced to go into ATMs, take out all money
Posted: 12:19 PM, Aug 22, 2019
Updated: 2019-08-22 13:19:51-04
4 arrested for luring men into kidnap, robbery with a Facebook post, police say

PLANT CITY, Fla. — Four suspects have been arrested after police say they lured victims via a Facebook post to a Plant City home where the victims were then robbed, beaten and kidnapped. One additional suspect is on the run with an active arrest warrant.

The Plant City Police Department arrested Thomas Nolasco, Joshua Rodriguez, Melissa Long and Carina Bailon in connection with the luring.

According to Plant City Police, at least three men were lured to the home in mid-June under the guise of socializing with an attractive woman. When they arrived, a woman met them in the driveway and escorted them inside. Then, the victims were robbed and "viciously tortured" and beaten. Investigators say they were beaten, kicked and pistol-whipped throughout the night.

Investigators say the victims were held against their will. The suspects threatened to harm the victims' families if they didn't cooperate. The suspects then forced the victims into their cars and made them take out money out of ATMs from various bank accounts.

When the victims withdrew all their money, the suspects allegedly dumped the victims but kept their cars, money and cell phones.

Nolasco allegedly discussed the kidnapping case with Long over the phone several times while Long was in jail. Unbeknownst to them, the calls were recorded due to department policy. The two allegedly argued about incriminating videos that were possibly saved on the seized phones.

The suspects face charges including armed kidnapping, robbery, aggravated battery with great bodily harm, grand theft motor vehicle.

Police are also seeking a fifth suspect, 19-year-old James T. Smith. There's an outstanding warrant active for his arrest.

This story was originally published by Isabel Rosales on WFTS in Tampa, Florida.