2 Suspected Kidnappers Arrested In Marijuana Deal Gone Bad: SRPD

When a Santa Rosa marijuana deal went bad, police believe a Stockton duo kidnapped the broker at gunpoint and ordered him to undress.

SANTA ROSA, CA — Santa Rosa police have arrested two Stockton residents on suspicion of kidnapping a marijuana dealer at gunpoint Sunday, then allegedly ordering him to undress down to his underwear and get into the trunk of their car, a police sergeant said. It is believed that in a marijuana deal gone bad on Slater Street in Santa Rosa, one group took off without paying for about five pounds of pot, SRPD Sgt. Josh Ludtke said. When the other group — including two suspects later identified as Seth Willden, 38, and Misty Lovecchio, 39 — realized their weed had been stolen, they held the broker of the deal at gunpoint, Ludtke said.

It is alleged that the pair drove the marijuana broker, a 20-year-old man whose identity was not released, to the 300 block of Taylor View Drive, where they ordered him to undress and get into the vehicle's trunk, Ludtke said.

"The victim, believing he was going to be killed, saw an opportunity to run while one of the suspects was distracted and he did so," Ludtke said.

The victim ran a short distance through an apartment complex before jumping into a car driven by strangers. The nearly naked man asked the driver to take him where there were a lot of people, the sergeant said.

The victim was driven across the street to Target, 1980 Santa Rosa Ave., where he was told to get out of the car, Ludtke said.

At 7:35 p.m. Sunday, officers were dispatched to reports of a man in underwear running through the Target parking lot, yelling for help and asking people to call police.

Officers soon located the victim, who suffered minor injuries to his feet and torso as a result of running partially naked and barefoot through the area and jumping over a fence, Ludtke said.

Detectives with the Santa Rosa Police Department Gang Crimes and Violent Crimes Investigations teams responded to the scene and investigated the case into Monday, identifying Willden and Lovecchio as suspects.

The detectives tracked the duo to a Stockton residence where they believed them to be hiding, Ludtke said. 

With the help of Stockton police, Willden and Lovecchio were taken into custody during a traffic stop conducted as the pair was spotted leaving the residence by car.

During the service of a search warrant at the Stockton home, detectives allegedly recovered a gun and marijuana.

Willden and Lovecchio were arrested on suspicion of robbery, kidnapping, false imprisonment, assault with a deadly weapon, brandishing a firearm and making terrorist threats, Ludtke said. Both were booked into San Joaquin County Jail.

It was not clear whether detectives believe there are additional suspects in the incident.

The case is still under investigation; anyone with information is asked to call Santa Rosa police at 707-543-3590.

Bay City News Service contributed to this report.

Photos courtesy Santa Rosa Police Department

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