Suspects sought in kidnapping, assault of store owner

OXFORD CIRCLE - July 30, 2010

Authorities say just before 8:00 a.m., Edwin Vega was jumped by two men as he walked to his SUV in an alleyway on Dorcas Street.

His next door neighbor, Felix Henriquez, saw it all unfold from an upstairs window.

"I just see from the window, two guys, one jumping on the front driver's side and another going to the back of the truck," Henriquez said.

An hour after he was abducted, Vegas' brother-in-law received a call demanding $20,000. He left with the police to arrange an exchange.

But about an hour after that, Vega called to tell his family that he was free.

He told police the kidnappers put a hood over his head and took him to a vacant house on Wilbrock Street. They held him in a basement where they beat him and burned him on his arm and chest.

Police say they also doused Vega with gasoline threatening to set him on fire.

When the kidnappers left him alone, Vega kicked out a glass door and ran around the corner to Andy's Auto Service on Torresdale Avenue where he asked to use the phone.

"He had burns on his torso and his arms, beat up, battered face, a black eye, and said that he was robbed and kidnapped," Andy's Auto Service employee Scott Nagle said.

Vega owns a corner grocery store in Kensington.

His family believes his kidnappers may have been following him for some time to learn where he lives.

Police found a car at the end of his block that appeared to be abandoned.

They have obtained a search warrant for that car and Vega's SUV, which was found around the corner from the vacant home where he was kidnapped and tortured.

The two suspects remain at large.

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