Facebook correspondence leads to kidnapping, robbery; suspect sought

SACRAMENTO - Ripon police say two suspected robbers found their victim through Facebook.

First Sgt. Steve Merchant said the victim connected with two individuals on the social media website to buy merchandise.

The trio arranged to meet near a local elementary school on March 22 about 2:45 p.m. The victim got in the alleged sellers' vehicle and they went to a local park.

At that point, Merchant said one of the sellers reportedly brandished a handgun at the victim and demanded he go with them to a secluded orchard located west of town.

There, Merchant said the victim was robbed of money and personal possessions. After extracting a promise the victim would not report the crime to police, the robbers released him.

Two days into their investigation, police served search and arrest warrants at a home on the 1600 block of Bradford Street in Stockton. Merchant said items belonging to the victim were recovered and suspect Fernando Villavazo Harnandez Jr., 21, was arrested. He was booked into San Joaquin County Jail on suspicion of robbery, kidnapping, witness intimidation and conspiracy.

Thursday, April 17, police said Facebook information helped them identify the second suspect as Juan Antonio Rodriguez (aka DaMob), 21, of San Jose. They're looking for him and asked anyone who knows of Rodriguez' whereabouts to contact the Det. Gordon West at (209) 599-2102 or Crime Stoppers at (209) 823-4636.


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