MACON, Georgia (41NBC/WMGT) – A Crimestopper tip landed an alleged kidnapper behind bars.
The U.S. Marshals South East Regional Task Force and Macon Police "Strike" Team arrested Brandon Howard, at the America's Best Inn located at 4951 Romeiser Drive, in Macon around 9:30 Wednesday morning.
The task force and officers knocked on the door of hotel room #140, where Howard and his girlfriend, Chenelle Smith, were hiding out. When they opened the door, both of them were immediately arrested, according to US Marshal Supervisor, John Edgar.
Two handguns were recovered from the room, added Edgar.
Howard, 19, of Macon was wanted for a November 18, kidnapping in the Howard Oaks sub-division. It was a Crimestopper tip that led the task force and strike team to Howard, said Edgar. The U.S. Marshals South East Regional Fugitive Task Force did an extensive investigation to locate and arrest Howard and Smith.
"He and another unknown accomplice went into the victim's house at gunpoint," said Edgar. "They stole some items and then took the victim to an ATM machine and forced him to withdraw money from the victim's account. Then they drove the victim down the road a short distance and dropped him off. Once the victim saw the coast was clear, he waived down a Macon Police officer and told what happened."
Edgar said the Bibb County Sheriff's Office is working to determine the identity of Howard's accomplice during the kidnapping.
However, his girlfriend, Chenelle Smith, is charged with receiving stolen property.
According to Edgar, the kidnapping incident is not the first time Howard allegedly used a gun to commit a crime. He was wanted by the Macon Police Department for an attempted armed robbery that occurred on August 9.
" "Howard entered Kim's Used Furniture with a pistol and attempted to take a fanny pack filled with money from the owner of the store, Keum Soon Kim," said Edgar. "They were unable to get the fanny pack off the victim and he and his co-conspirators left the store without taking any money."
Edgar said the surveillance video showed three other people with Howard during the attempted armed robbery. One of them, Treyon Reeves, has been apprehended.
US Marshals Southeast Regional Task Force arrested Treyon Reeves, in October and charged him with attempted armed robbery.
Howard is in the Bibb County Law Enforcement Center. He is charged with Kidnapping, Attempted Armed Robbery, Burglary, Armed Robbery, Possession of a Firearm during a commision of a crime.