Cops: Kidnapping, robbery victim likely targeted

Authorities believe it’s unlikely that one Duluth man’s five-hour nightmare — an early morning in which he was kidnapped, beaten and robbed — was a random act.

The 32-year-old victim was reportedly returning to his Ridgebrook Trail apartment at about 1:30 a.m. Wednesday when two “young black male suspects” forced him back into his vehicle at gunpoint. A few miles down Interstate 85 South he was forced into the back seat, pistolwhipped and burned with a cigarette lighter as the culprits, who have not been identified, pried banking information from him.

They took him to a Wells Fargo ATM on Cheshire Bridge Road in Atlanta before ditching him and his vehicle in the parking lot of an apartment complex. The suspects also sent ransom texts to the victim’s brother.

“The victim was in the custody of the suspects for nearly five hours and was attacked several times throughout,” Gwinnett County police spokesman Cpl. Jake Smith said.

On Thursday, Smith said detectives believe the victim was likely targeted.

“We doubt he was targeted randomly, but can’t really say more yet,” he said.

The suspects are both identified as black males about 19 years old; one is about 6 feet tall, the other about 5-foot-7, police said. A very clear ATM surveillance photo of one suspect has been released.

Anyone with information is asked to call GCPD robbery detectives at 770-513-5326 or Crime Stoppers at 404-577-TIPS. Tipsters for the latter can remain anonymous and are eligible for a $2,000 reward for information leading to an arrest and conviction.