Police: Hispanic men lured to Plant City home via Facebook, ‘viciously tortured,’ robbed

Hillsborough County

Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office

PLANT CITY, Fla. (WFLA) – Four people were arrested after several Hispanic men were lured to a home in Plant City, where they were robbed, beaten and “viciously tortured,” police said.

Plant City police said the victims were lured to a home in the 900 block of West Risk Street “under the guise of socializing with an attractive female” they had met on social media.

There, they were met at the driveway by the woman, who escorted them inside of the residence, where they were robbed, pistol-whipped, kicked and held against their will, authorities said.

The suspects also threatened to harm the victims’ families if they did not heed to their demands, according to an arrest report.

The culprits then forced the men into their vehicles and made them withdraw cash from various ATM machines.

After taking their money, the suspects released the victims but kept their vehicles, authorities said.

Four of the five suspects, Thomas Nolasco, Joshua Rodriguez, Melissa Long and Carina Bailon, were arrested on numerous charges including armed kidnapping, robbery, aggravated battery with great bodily harm, grand theft motor vehicle, according to the report.

Police are asking for the public’s help in finding the fifth suspect, 19-year-old James T. Smith. A warrant is out for his arrest.

An investigation is ongoing.

Anyone who believes they’ve been victimized in a similar fashion by the aforementioned suspects is encouraged to call Detective Mark Dunnam at (813) 757-9200.


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April 24 2021 08:00 am

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