PD: 2 men arrested after holding couple against their will in Scottsdale

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by Jennifer Thomas

azfamily.com

Posted on September 11, 2013 at 10:11 AM

Updated Monday, Sep 16 at 2:48 PM

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SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -- Scottsdale police arrested two men after they allegedly held a man and a woman against their will at an apartment near Miller and McDowell roads Wednesday morning.

Stephen Cannistra, 22, and Abel Sabori, 31, are both being held on $10,000 bond. Cannistra faces charges of conspiracy, kidnapping, threatening and transportation of marijuana. Sabori faces charges including conspiracy, kidnapping, threatening, marijuana possession, drug paraphernalia and possession of a weapon by a prohibited possessor.

According to police, Jonathan Lacy received a high-dollar loan from Cannistra two weeks ago. When Lacy failed to pay back the money, Cannistra allegedly threatened him and his ex-wife if he didn't get his money.

According to court documents, Lacy received an email believed to be from out of the country advising of an unclaimed $4 million inheritance of a Nigerian prince. The email requested that Lacy send $18,000 to various overseas accounts in the form of MoneyGrams. Once that money was paid, the inheritance would be released to him.

Lacy borrowed $18,000 from Cannistra and sent the money as directed by the email. A few days ago, Cannistra told Lacy that if he did not get his money soon, he was going to take the knife out of his truck and stab him in the chest, according to the court paperwork.

On Sunday, Cannistra threatened to kill Lacy and his ex-wife, Lea Keshishian, if he did not get his money back immediately.

The court documents show that Cannistra, Lacy and Keshishian have been roommates for a short time.

Lacy told police that he saw Cannistra make a phone call early Wednesday morning and asked if the person wanted some "weed." Cannistra left the apartment and re-entered with Sabori, who was wearing a bandanna over his face and had a firearm in his pants pocket, according to the documents.

Cannistra told Lacy that Sabori was going to keep an eye on him until he got his money back. The two victims were not permitted to leave the apartment, but Lacy was able to text and send emails. Lacy texted his father that he was being held hostage and the father contacted police.

While the suspects were asleep, the victims escaped by jumping from a second-story balcony and called police.

Scottsdale officers arrived and took up a perimeter around the area.

Cannistra exited the apartment around 9 a.m. and was taken into custody without incident.

Sabori barricaded himself inside the apartment. SWAT officers began making loudspeaker announcements for Sabori to exit the apartment, which he did at about 11 a.m.

Police said they found a large hunting knife, marijuana and drug paraphernalia on him.

Sabori told police that he was picked up by Cannistra and asked if he wanted to make some money. Cannistra told Sabori to watch the victims and if they left, he was to follow them. Sabori said there was no monetary figure agreed on, but Cannistra gave him "a sack" of marijuana to smoke.

No one was injured in the incident.

 

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