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Victim found in Olney after cross-city abduction

Police say a Chester County convenience-store clerk was dragged from West Philly to Olney late Sunday.

A BUMP in the night and a neighbor's hunch helped investigators crack a cross-city abduction case, police said last night.

Southwest Division detectives were interviewing a person of interest in the case last night after a 29-year-old Chester County convenience-store worker kidnapped from West Philly was found bound and beaten in an Olney garage, investigators said.

It all started just after 11 p.m. Sunday, when a resident on Cranston Road near Lankenau Avenue in River Park heard glass breaking and what sounded like "someone being dragged" in the home next door, said Lt. John Walker of Southwest Detectives.

When police arrived, they found shattered glass in the home's rear driveway and the homeowner's vehicle parked around the corner, Walker said.

The victim, the homeowner's brother, had been driving the car to the house from his job in West Goshen Township when a group of men pulled up in a black Chrysler Town & Country minivan and pulled him out of the vehicle, Walker said.

The abductors, wearing masks and tactical vests with "Police" stenciled on the front, then began to call the victim's family, demanding ransom money.

Detectives used that information to track the punks to an auto-body garage on Chew Avenue near 7th Street in Olney, Walker said.

There, early yesterday, investigators found the victim bound at his hands and feet with duct tape. A man inside the garage fled but was caught after trying to jump a fence, Walker said.

Also at the Chew Avenue garage was the Town & Country, which police later learned had been reported stolen from Philadelphia International Airport, Walker said.

The apprehended man was being questioned last night, but hadn't been charged with any crimes related to the kidnapping, Walker said.

Detectives believe that drugs may have motivated the ordeal: Large amounts of marijuana and cash were found in the home on Cranston Road where the abduction began, Walker said.

And it seems that the attackers may have grabbed the wrong guy all along: The victim has no prior arrests and may have been targeted because he was driving his brother's car, Walker said.