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Suspect in Jewelers Row abduction is nabbed by feds in S.C.

ATF agents arrested Khayree Gay, 31, of Feltonville, at a hotel in Lake City, S.C.

FEDERAL authorities in South Carolina on Friday arrested a Feltonville man allegedly involved in the April 4 abduction and torture of a Jewelers Row employee.

Agents from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives nabbed Khayree Gay, 31, during his stay at the Security Inn and Suites hotel in Lake City, S.C., according to the ATF. The hotel is about 15 miles from Interstate 95 and about 565 miles from Philly.

Two other men suspected in the crime were not at the hotel when agents arrived.

Gay has been arrested at least six times in Philadelphia on aggravated-assault, drug and firearm charges, but most were withdrawn, according to court records. Gay, who lives on Blavis Street near 5th, according to online records, pleaded guilty to at least a couple of drug charges.

Delaware State Police also arrested Gay and two others seven years ago in Harrington, Del., after a traffic stop for speeding, according to a 2008 report by WBOC-TV in Maryland. Police searched the vehicle and found 18 grams of heroin, six grams of marijuana and $919 in cash, WBOC reported. The trio told police they were traveling from Philadelphia to Virginia, and a check found that an active warrant was out for Gay, according to the TV report.

Gay was being held yesterday in the Florence County, S.C., Detention Center.

The abducted woman, 53, had just left her job at the National Watch and Diamond Exchange, at 8th and Chestnut streets, and was in a nearby garage when three men dragged her into a Ford Econoline van.

The masked trio drove the woman to the garage's roof, where they began to punch, kick and tase her inside the van. They wanted the codes to get into the jewelry store's safe and the key to the store, police said.

The men yelled at her, "Today is the day you're gonna die!" according to police.

She didn't have the codes or the key, but she gave them her ATM card. They withdrew cash in Kingsessing and filled up on gas at a Wawa in Eastwick using the ATM card, police said.

The abductors finally stopped at the Mount Lawn Cemetery in Darby, where they placed plastic zip-ties around her wrists and left her there. They told her to stay there and then left, but she tried to flee after she freed her hands, authorities said.

The men soon returned and took her again, placing her in shackles and handcuffs, cops said. They were unsuccessful in retrieving more information from her and again left her in the cemetery.