Three people were arrested in Florida in connection with a kidnapping, armed robbery and beating that police say may be part of criminal scheme to target undocumented immigrants.
The South Florida Sun Sentinel reported Friday that a victim was kidnapped, robbed and beaten Feb. 2 before being let go the next morning.
Davie Police said the person was threatened with death or deportation if he alerted police.
“It is believed that this group is targeting undocumented immigrants and robbing them for their cash,” Sgt. Mark Leone told the Sentinel. “We believe that they target these undocumented immigrants because they are less likely to report being a victim of a crime to the police.”
The Davie Police Department did not immediately respond to a request for comment from The Hill.
Natalie Rebecca Williams, 34, Joshua Aaron Greiff, 30, and Andres Rafael, 31, have been charged in connection with the crimes, though police say seven people were involved.
According to police, Williams approached the driver of a Chevrolet pickup truck and asked for a ride. The driver refused, but another man stepped in front of the truck while Williams, carrying a black handgun, reached through the passenger’s side window to open the door.
Police said Williams and the man directed the driver to a mobile home park in Davie where they blindfolded him and led him into a home where five other people awaited. The group tied him to a chair and took turns hitting him in the head, stomach and back, according to authorities.
Police say the group then stole $1,387 in cash, demanded the driver’s ATM card and threatened to kill him if he did not give them the correct PIN.
The group also took $4,000 worth of tools from the truck, according to the police report. The group repeatedly said they would kill the driver if he went to the police and said he would be deported for being in the country illegally, according to authorities.
Williams added that she would tell police he raped her if he talked to the authorities, the report continues.
The driver was treated for his injuries following his release, requiring several stitches in his face. He then brought detectives to the mobile home Wednesday. Williams, Greiff and Rafael were arrested and charged Thursday with armed robbery, aggravated battery and kidnapping.
The three appeared for the first time in court Friday and were ordered to be held in jail without bond.