PD: 19-year-old arrested in Mesa kidnapping

Posted at 12:57 PM, Mar 31, 2016
and last updated 2016-03-31 15:57:14-04

A teenager has been identified as the person allegedly behind the kidnapping of three people last week in Mesa.

Court paperwork obtained by ABC15 says 19-year-old Luis Martinez-Soto kidnapped three people on March 23 from their home and held them ransom because of a debt he believed they owed him.

All three people were rescued and four others were detained, including Martinez-Soto.

According to police documents, the suspect went to the home the night before, March 22, with a gun and tried to break in, according to the police report. He ran away when police arrived and was not found by officers.

The next day, March 23, he returned to the Mesa home and took the 17-year-old boy, a 3-year-old boy and a babysitter, described by police as an "adult female" to a home in south Phoenix and held them hostage.

He demanded $10,000 in ransom for their safe return, according to the report.

Police said Martinez-Soto contacted someone about the kidnapping and that person called police. Police opened communication with the suspect to make sure the victims were alive and to hear his demands.

Police said Martinez-Soto threatened to cut the victims' fingers off during several of those calls. He also instructed them on where to drop the ransom. Police said they were able to use that information to find where the victims were being held.

Detectives captured the suspect as he was moving one of the victims outside the home.

Police said he initially gave detectives a fake birth date indicating he was a minor. He's not.

He was booked into jail on charges of kidnapping, aggravating assault and false reporting to law enforcement. Three other people were arrested, but were not identified in court documents.

The three victims were not physically hurt, said police.