KANSAS CITY, MO (KCTV) - Danville, KY, police say a suspect wanted in a crime spree that crossed state lines and involved the kidnapping of a 67-year-old man has been captured.
Robert "Robbie" Caldwell, 25, of Danville was taken into custody about 2:30 p.m. Tuesday in Lincoln County, KY.
The Kentucky State Patrol got involved when they said Caldwell is believed to have stolen another vehicle, this time in Casey County, in south-central Kentucky. The theft happened Tuesday.
Troopers began chasing the vehicle and during the pursuit, a detective and his vehicle were rammed by the stolen vehicle believed to have been driven by Caldwell. The stolen vehicle was then spotted in neighboring Lincoln County where another chase began, this time involving Lincoln County Sheriff's deputies.
Trooper Paul Blanton with the Kentucky State Police said at some point Caldwell got out of the stolen vehicle and ran on foot. It was at that time that he was captured.
Caldwell was wanted in connected to a crime spree that began Thursday morning in Kansas City, MO, when a 67-year-old man said he was abducted by two men and driven around in his van. The victim said he was taken to ATMs to withdraw money, assaulted and finally was able to get away in St. Louis.
The FBI got involved and said the victim's van was found completely wrecked in Bardstown, KY. At that time FBI officials believed Caldwell stole a gray 2008 Mitsubishi Eclipse and thought he could still be driving it.
Caldwell is being charged with fleeing and evading police, criminal mischief, kidnapping, robbery and theft by unlawful taking of an auto. He is being held in the Lincoln County Jail in Kentucky.
See original story below:
KANSAS CITY, MO (KCTV) -- Several hours after a Kansas City man returned home from an eight-hour carjacking, kidnapping and robbery ordeal, one of his abductors walked away from a Kentucky highway exit where he wrecked the victim's van.
The crime spree had gone 550 miles at that point and deputies in the Kentucky county where he wrecked think the crime spree continued from there.
Now Louisville's FBI division has named one of the suspects they believe to be involved. They say Robert “Robbie” Caldwell, 25, of Danville, KY, and another unidentified man are behind the carjacking and abduction.
Retired FBI agent Michael Tabman says, as far as crime sprees go, this one doesn't seem to be about money.
“I would say on the level of criminals these guys are pretty low on the food chain,” Tabman said. “These are not sophisticated criminals. I bet they have records for some street crimes or other minor crimes.”
Tabman has a theory on the motive based on all the details that have emerged so far.
“It looks like they're just out to have some thrills,” he said.
The crime spree started Thursday morning in South Kansas City, in the 12200 block of Prospect Avenue. That's where the pair took a 67-year-old's man's van at gunpoint and took him along with them, assaulting him along the way.
Their first stop was at a McDonald's, just minutes from the man's home, where police got their first opportunity at surveillance. Then they tried to get money from an ATM with the man's credit card. It's unclear if they succeeded.
But their next buy, from a Dairy Queen in Nelson, MO, was hardly a big one and done without much forethought. The clerk there says the kidnapper went in and out of the store four times.
“His first transaction he bought $20 worth of gas,” Breanna Bochman said. “And then he came in a second time and he bought like snacks and stuff and then the third time he came in he bought like a charger cord, and then the fourth time he came in he bought like a cigarette adapter.”
The men made it 250 miles, to the St. Louis suburb of Jennings, MO, before the van's owner escaped, wrestling on of their guns from them.
It appears one of the kidnappers bailed before the driver got to Bardstown, KY. It's a town of about 12,000 people, located about 60 miles from Frankfurt. The driver rear-ended a semi, crushing the Kansas City man's van. The trucker saw just one man walk away.
Now, sheriff's deputies there believe that kidnapper is in a gray 2008 Mitsubishi Eclipse with Kentucky license plate 663-JKY, stolen from a home just a quarter mile from the crash. They say they also had several car break-ins along the route from the crash to where the car was stolen.
The FBI out of Louisville said they believe Caldwell may be driving that car. They said law enforcement has information that indicates Caldwell was in the Danville areaFriday eveningg and may have headed toward Lexington, KY.
Despite all the miles they've covered so far, Tabman says he expects the attackers will be behind bars soon.
“I think they will be caught in probably less than 48 hours," he said. “They're not being careful. Their pictures are already out on the media.”
The FBI is now investigating the case in Kansas City and in Louisville, KY.
All law enforcement are asking for the public's help, but urge them not to intervene because the men should be considered armed and dangerous.
There are a number of organizations to call if you spot these men: