Three taken into custody in SLC in connection with kidnapping, robbery

SALT LAKE CITY — Salt Lake City Police detained three people Tuesday in connection with a kidnapping and robbery incident that started in Taylorsville on Monday.

Customers inside the Denny's on 500 South in Salt Lake City watched through a window as police rushed over to a white SUV with their guns drawn.

Stephanie Rogers said she had just seen the SUV park moments earlier, backing into a parking spot.

"All of a sudden I just saw a gun come past the window... and I saw that it was a cop," Rogers explained. From there, police ordered three people out of the vehicle with their hands in the air.

"I just saw them have the driver get out and get on the ground, and the passenger get out and get on the ground in the front of the car, and they still had their guns up," she said, describing the scene.

Lt. Brian Lohrke of the Unified Police Department said Salt Lake City Police took three people into custody, two men and a woman, because they were in an SUV believed to be involved in a kidnapping and robbery a day earlier.

On Monday, Lt. Lohrke said a male and female suspect pulled up to a 42-year-old man walking near 3700 W and 5400 S in Taylorsville and forced him into a white GMC SUV.

He said the suspects drove the kidnapping victim to a 7-Eleven store in Salt Lake City near 1300 N Redwood Rd., where he jumped out of the vehicle in an attempt to escape.

A clerk at the store refused to help him and told him to leave, Lohrke said.

According to police, the male suspect accused of forcing the man into the SUV was waiting for the victim outside the 7-Eleven, and he took the victim's driver's license from him.

The victim told police that the suspect then ran back to the SUV and took off with the woman.

On Tuesday, Lt. Lohrke said Salt Lake City officers spotted the white GMC SUV and recognized it as the suspect vehicle.

He said they are currently interviewing the three people officers took into custody, to see what they know about the kidnapping and robbery and how they might be connected.

Lt. Lohrke said they have not yet made any arrests.

After watching the situation in the Denny's parking lot unfold, Rogers described seeing something strange on the vehicle.

"We realized that there's blood all down the side of the car, the passenger side of the car," Rogers said.

Lt. Lohrke said he wasn't sure what that blood is from, or why it was on the side of the SUV.

Rogers indicated she's glad the situation ended peacefully.

"It was all kind of pretty scary at first," she said, adding, "but when I realized it was more cops than bad guys-- and the bad guys didn't have guns-- I was okay with it."