Jul 28, 2014 8:33 PM
The Redding Police Department is considering this case a hate crime.
They say the suspects targeted Hispanic males all around the North State, using fake photos of attractive women to lure them in.
In the early morning hours of July 7th, Redding police received a call from 38-year old Margarito Santos of Chico, saying he had just been robbed.
The suspects -- Kayla Tanner, Krystal Kerby, Tyler Woods, Zachary Parker, Karissa Freeman, Michael Bradley and Lynette Demello -- allegedly emptied his pockets, took his pickup truck and held him hostage.
Santos thought he was going meet a female on the 1600 Block of Willis Street in Redding.
"They were lured to a location under premises of meeting a female and when they arrived they were confronted by individuals who robbed them."
It was only after police began investigating his case, that they uncovered new leads.
"There were videos on the cell phone that was seized, and it depicted other victims..."
A police report identified the additional victims as 33-year old Carlos Linares of Shasta Lake and 36-year old Timothy Valdez of Redding.
The two also thought they were going to meet a female at a hotel.
But Sergeant Cogle says the fact that all three victims were Hispanic wasn't an accident.
"They chose these individuals on Facebook for a reason...they thought they'd be more vulnerable to it and thought they wouldn't report it."
Sergeant Cogle says internet crimes are on the rise, and it's easy for men and women to fall into traps like this one.
"If it's too good to be true it more than likely is -- in this case...the pictures were not of the individuals."
All seven suspects are being charged with multiple felony counts, including robbery and false imprisonment.
One of the suspects -- Lynette Demello -- is still at large.
Redding police urge anyone who has seen her to give them a call.
2 days ago