OREGON CITY, Ore. - Three men planned for months to kidnap and rob Columbia Sportswear Chairwoman Gert Boyle and hold her until her company or family paid a ransom, according to court documents made available Wednesday.
Ramon Midence, Gabriel Caballero and Jose Arevalo have been indicted by a Clackamas County grand jury on charges of kidnapping, criminal conspiracy, robbery and burglary.
According to the indictment released Wednesday, the three hatched the plan as far back as 10 months ago. A fourth person, Osmin Sanchez, testified before the grand jury and said he was solicited to take part in the plot but refused to do so. He was not indicted.
Sanchez said Caballero approached him about six months ago and asked him if he wanted to make some money. But when he found out how Caballero was planning to do so he was shocked and didn’t think Caballero would go through with it.
“First, he didn’t say too much. He said, ‘Do you want to make money?’ He said he was going to get a person from a house or from someplace. He didn’t say where.”
Sanchez said he didn’t know a name.
“I told him, ‘Don’t tell me. Don’t say that again to me because if you do that you’re going to lose a friend. I don’t want to lose a friend if you tell me that again.’ And he stopped.”
When asked why he didn’t go to the police, Sanchez said friends told him no crime was committed. But he did warn Caballero’s family.
He said Caballero may have been frustrated because of several of his businesses failed.
When Boyle arrived at her West Linn home last Wednesday, investigators say Caballero showed up first with a gift basket and then a book for her to sign. But when Boyle asked Caballero to leave he pulled out a gun and forced them both inside.
Boyle thwarted the plot, however, when she set off a panic alarm that alerted police to her residence. When an officer arrived Caballero fled out the backdoor and down a nearly vertical drop. He was arrested hours later and police said he had money and jewelry from Boyle's home in his pockets.
Caballero, who police say tied up and held Boyle at gunpoint, appeared in court for the second time Wednesday afternoon via a video feed from the Clackamas County Jail.
According to police, Arevalo admitted he was hired to drive the getaway car for $20,000. Police also said Midence and Caballero had a detailed discussion about planning the attack before Midence drove and dropped Caballero off at Boyle's house and then waited down the street. Midence admitted "he knew what Caballero was going to do," according to court documents.
Investigators have said little about the case, not even if there will be more arrests.
“We’ve arrested three. I don’t know if there’s any more arrests on the horizon or not,” said Sgt. Neil Hennelly, with the West Linn Police Department. “Right now detectives are kind of sifting through mountains of evidence to see what all is there and try to firm up our case.”
So far Boyle hasn’t spoken publicly about what happened but she is reportedly doing OK.
The trial for all three men will be in January.
KATU News reporter Anita Kissée contributed to this report.
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