Boy, 15, Kidnapped in Las Vegas, Ransom Demanded: Police


LAS VEGAS — Three individuals have been arrested on charges of kidnapping and extortion after reportedly holding a 15-year-old boy captive for six hours in connection with a ransom demand over a stolen e-bike, as per documents obtained by the 8 News Now Investigators.

Christian Scarlett, 31; Savannah Schmitt, 31; and Stephen Smith, 45, are all facing charges of kidnapping with a deadly weapon, extortion, child abuse, robbery, and conspiracy to commit kidnapping, according to records.

The incident allegedly occurred on Saturday, May 25, when the group purportedly abducted a 15-year-old boy from the parking lot of a convenience store near Russell Road and Grand Canyon Drive in the west valley, documents stated. The teenager was then detained against his will for six hours at a nearby apartment.

Multiple witnesses observed the kidnapping in the parking lot and alerted the police, officers said. One witness reported seeing a group of men yelling at a group of young individuals.

At one point, one of the men allegedly brandished a gun at one of the young individuals, threatening to kill him, according to a witness who informed the police. The altercation reportedly stemmed from a stolen e-bike. The young individual then entered the back seat of the group’s car.

Later that day, a person contacted the police, stating they had received a phone call from two individuals claiming to be holding the 15-year-old hostage, police said. The pair purportedly demanded $4,000 for the child’s release.

Police traced the caller’s phone to Schmitt, they said. Schmitt had reportedly contacted the police weeks earlier to report a domestic disturbance involving her and Smith, her boyfriend, police said. Additionally, the police linked Schmitt to a nearby apartment based on her prior calls to the police.

Officers proceeded to the apartment and found the group inside, they said.

During police interviews, Smith accused the teenager of stealing the bicycle during a planned sale. Instead of paying for the bike, the teenager allegedly rode off with it. Schmitt informed the police that the teenager had agreed to accompany them in their car and that the group was awaiting payment from the teenager’s parents for the bike — despite witnesses informing the police that the group had held the teenager at gunpoint.

According to documents, the teenager stated to the police that he and his friends had intended to steal the bike. Additionally, the teenager informed the police that while he was inside the apartment, the group placed a pillowcase over his head, and one individual made threats against his life.

During the trio’s initial court appearances, Judge Amy Ferreira set bail at $150,000. Should any of the defendants secure bail, they will be required to wear a GPS-monitoring bracelet and refrain from possessing weapons.

David Charns
David Charns
David Charns is an award-winning journalist who is also a fill-in anchor for 8 News Now’s evening newscasts.

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