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Two charged in kidnapping of Verizon store employee

  • Article by: ABBY SIMONS
  • Star Tribune
  • September 13, 2013 - 8:18 PM

Two men charged with kidnapping a Verizon manager followed him home before forcing him into the trunk with intentions to rob his Minneapolis store, according to charges filed Friday in Hennepin County District Court.

Ronald Jermaine Jackson, 29, of Richfield, and William Charles Graham, 31, of New Hope, each face felony kidnapping charges in connection with Wednesday’s incident, in which they followed the victim from his store to his home on Chippewa Road in Loretto, west of the Twin Cities.

According to the charges, the man’s wife called police at 9:20 p.m. to report that her husband had arrived home five minutes earlier but had not come inside. She said she spotted a red car in the neighbor’s drive and heard some commotion, then heard the trunk slam before the car took off. A neighbor told police he saw a red Dodge Charger pull into his drive for a couple of minutes before it sped away.

Thirty minutes later, police spotted the vehicle parked north of Hwy. 55 on Pioneer Trail, not far from the victim’s home. Graham and Jackson, who were outside the car, were approached by police and ordered to put their hands up. Both ran when police heard pounding from the trunk and opened it to find the victim inside. A BB gun was found in the ditch behind the Charger.

The victim told police he had returned home from the Verizon store when he saw the Charger pull into his neighbor’s drive very fast before Graham, who was wearing a white surgical mask and carrying a gun, ordered him out of his car. Graham tied the man’s hands behind his back with a zip-tie and they forced him into the trunk.

After driving away, he said they asked him about the Verizon store, how many people worked there and how much money and equipment was inside, and they demanded his store keys. The victim said he believed they were in his car. He said they then stopped the car, went through his pants pockets and took his keys, then asked him whether he loved his family.

Police tracked down Jackson and Graham that night and searched the Charger, where they found the surgical mask, a pair of gloves, a roll of duct tape and zip ties.

Both remain in the Hennepin County jail in lieu of $500,000 bail. Graham is awaiting trial on aggravated robbery and kidnapping charges for a similar incident involving a victim who worked at a T-Mobile store.

Abby Simons • 612-673-4921

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