San Jose police are continuing to investigate the circumstances of the kidnapping of a businessman for a $1 million ransom earlier this month, the department said today.On Nov. 4, five men kidnapped a 35-year-old man and held him for $1 million ransom. After a 15-hour ordeal involving 125 police officers, the victim was located in a home on Fargate Circle and rescued, police said. All five of his captors were arrested and booked into Santa Clara County jail.At a news conference at the Police Department this morning, Acting Chief Chris Moore said the victim had been targeted, but he could not say for what purpose. He said police are investigating whether the case has ties to a local drug cartel.”We just have not seen this kind of activity in Northern California,” Moore said. “That’s why we want to jump on it right now.”The suspects allegedly carried out the crime by posing as police officers. Police confiscated items they used, including a car that looked like an undercover police vehicle, police hats, stun guns, walkie-talkies, guns, and a fake police badge.Moore encouraged residents to immediately call 911 if they suspect the legitimacy of a law enforcement operation. “The relationship with our community is critical for us to investigate these crimes,” he said.The suspects have been identified as Wilber Gomez, a 26-year-old transient; Libni Sanchez, 35, of Hayward; Jose Villalobos, 28, of Los Angeles; Efrain Martinez, 37, of San Jose; and Jose Valencia, 33, of Milpitas.Today, police Lt. Glenn Harper recounted a timeline of the night of Nov. 4. Harper said the victim, who owns a local food business, left his home at about 9 p.m. to check on his business.When he failed to return home later that night, his wife tried to call his cell phone, but it went straight to voicemail.At about 1:15 a.m. Friday, Nov. 5, the victim’s family received a call from someone who demanded $1 million ransom by 6 a.m. in exchange for the victim’s safe return.The victim’s family called police at about 7:15 a.m. Friday.Police officers from multiple units were assigned to the case, and by Friday evening they had determined that the victim was being held captive inside a house in the 1100 block of Fargate Circle, Harper said.When officers went to the home, they saw a vehicle pulling away and pulled it over. They arrested the driver and one passenger shortly before 8:15 p.m.Other officers continued to watch the neighborhood and eventually saw two more men leave the house. They were also arrested without incident.Harper said the suspects confirmed that the victim was being held captive in the house and had been assaulted. They also said a fifth man, who was armed, had remained inside the house to watch the victim.A short time later, police watching the house saw a man jump out of a second-story window.When officers got to him, they determined that he was the victim, Harper said. Once they had moved him to safety, they went into the house and arrested the fifth suspect shortly after 10:10 p.m.The victim was taken to San Jose Regional Medical Center to be treated for injuries suffered in the fall and inflicted by his captors,including wounds from a stun gun, Harper said. None of his injuries were considered life threatening.
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Stephan J. Dougan, Personal Injury Attorney
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