Five armed suspects kidnapped, beat and robbed two men Thursday in a convoluted odyssey that reportedly began over money owed to one of the victims.
Nevada County Sheriff’s deputies responded to a 911 call at 7:30 p.m. from a gas station on Highway 20 reporting that there were two very injured men who said they had been robbed at gunpoint.
Deputies responded, and one of the two victims tried to flee because he had an outstanding warrant, said Sheriff Keith Royal.
“He didn’t make it far because he had fractured ribs,” Royal said.
According to Royal, the two victims initially gave conflicting and confusing information.
“They decided they were going to collect a debt” from a man identified as Marques Aaron-Clements Garland, 22, Royal said.
The two men, who were not identified, reportedly went to Garland’s residence in the 15000 block of Little Valley Road earlier Thursday, but he wasn’t home.
“They decided to burglarize the home and stole a fairly large bag of methamphetamine,” Royal said.
“Garland rallied his troops,” Royal said. “He and his cohorts not only got the dope back, they kidnapped and robbed (the victims) at gunpoint.”
Because the alleged kidnapping happened in Grass Valley, the case was turned over to that city’s police department.
According to Grass Valley Police Chief John Foster, Garland discovered the theft and called one of the victims, accusing him of the burglary.
“They arranged a time to meet at Radio Shack on Sutton Way so he could give the meth back,” Foster said.
The victim — who was not being identified — got into a car occupied by Garland and three other men; according to Foster, one of the men had a shotgun pointing at the victim, and another man displayed a handgun.
Garland reportedly realized some of the meth was missing and told the victim to contact his friend and get it back.
They then allegedly picked up the second man at an apartment in the 1400 block of Segsworth Way and drove to Penn Valley.
“At some point, they turned into a gravel lot and met another car with a man driving it,” Foster said.
The suspects reportedly forced the two victims to get out of the car and get on their knees.
“They began punching and kicking them,” Foster said. “They took their backpacks, money, personal items, car keys and shoes and left.”
The two victims made their way to the gas station to call for help, Foster said.
One of the men was taken to Sierra Nevada Memorial Hospital for his injuries, which Foster said included facial lacerations and a broken nose.
Based on the information provided by the victims, Grass Valley Police officers served a search warrant at Garland’s residence. Some of the items taken from the two victims, as well as a handgun and a small amount of meth, were found at the residence, Foster said.
Garland and a 16-year-old relative were arrested on suspicion of kidnapping, robbery, battery causing serious bodily injury, assault with a deadly weapon, making criminal threats and criminal conspiracy. Garland was being held in county jail in lieu of $100,000 bail, and the teen was being held in juvenile hall.
The other three suspects remained on the loose Friday, and the investigation was continuing.
According to Foster, the two kidnap victims might be charged with burglary and possession of methamphetamine.
To contact City Editor Liz Kellar, email email@example.com or call 530-477-4229.