Kidnappers strike same Buckhead complex twice

7:04 PM, Mar 22, 2013   |    comments
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ATLANTA -- Atlanta police are looking for four armed men, accused of holding a Buckhead woman hostage early Friday morning, while trying to raid her bank account.

Investigators say her story is eerily familiar to another kidnapping just the week before, involving one of her neighbors.

Police still aren't sure if the two kidnappings at the condominiums off Lenox Oaks Circle are connected, but they happened on the same night of the week, around the same time, with the same motive: money.

In both cases, the victims were getting out of their cars, when a gunman demanded they get back inside.

"I was pretty calm. I was like fine, just shoot me if you're going to shoot me. That's fine," said one of the victims, who has asked not to be identified.

She says four men in their early 20's held her hostage inside her car for nearly two hours as they drove round town, eventually asking for her ATM card.

She believes they were able to get out $600 before her bank blocked the card. That's when she says the men drove back to her home, demanded she get down on the ground and count to 110, then got out, leaving her unharmed.

She says she wasn't been able to tell investigators exactly where they stopped, since she had a jacket over her head part of the time.

"I wasn't really freaked out. I just talked to them to get information," she said.

The victim says one of the suspects told her he had played football at Georgia Tech. Another said he was on their wrestling team. He hoped one day to be a dentist.

A spokesperson for the school says they don't have a wrestling team and have yet to be contacted by police.

Still, the victim hopes she learned enough to help police, along with any fingerprints they may have left in her car, identify the men.

"I live a few doors down and there are a lot of single girls and it's just very scary," said xx who has lived in the complex for nearly two decades.

Neighbors say their shocked to hear what happened, even more shocked to learn this wasn't the first time.

Last Thursday, a male homeowner in the complex told police three armed men kidnapped him, stealing $800 dollars from his account.

"But he was then taken out to Rockdale county where he was tied up with jumper cables and basically left in the woods," said Atlanta police sergeant Grey Lyon.

But that victim told police he was held for more than 20 hours and nearly two dozen people went in and out of his car. The police report says they stopped at a McDonalds several times, a person's house, even dropped someone off at school. The entire time, the victim says he had a sweater over his head and no one questioned why.

Police admit both cases, especially the last, seem a bit unusual.

"Generally the criminals in these types of crimes don't want to spend a lot of time hanging out with the person they're victimizing," said Lyon.

The female victims 11Alive talked with says the men felt confident in their actions. Her only fear now is that instead of once a week, they'll strike more often if they think they can get away with it.

"Yeah, they were comfortable. They weren't scared during it," she said.

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