Kidnapping victim’s wife used phone location tracking to trick suspect and get him arrested, Texas police say

News & Politics

Texas police say that an 18-year-old was arrested after the wife of his kidnapping victim tricked him by use of their phone’s location tracking capabilities.

Vanessa Chavez spoke to KTRK-TV about the call she received from the alleged kidnapper on the phone of her husband, Juan Chavez, on May 15.

She said her husband was making deliveries for Uber Eats in order to earn money to feed their twin babies. On that day, he called her and said that he was in a life-or-death situation. Her first thought was to call the police.

“I immediately said, ‘I am calling the police right now,’ and as soon as I said that, I heard the man’s voice; he’s like, ‘You’re not calling the police. I need you to send me $2,000,'” she recalled.

Juan Chavez told KTRK that 18-year-old Houston Charles-Stephens approached him armed with a gun at Whataburger on Gessener Road in the Spring Branch area.

Police said that a language barrier led to the arrest of the suspect.

That’s because Juan Chavez didn’t speak English well, so, he asked to call his wife so that she could interpret for the man. Vanessa Chavez said that she had been tracking her husband on his late night deliveries for safety. She quickly came up with a plan.

“I just really quickly said, ‘Ok, find a Bank of America.’ In my head, I was like, ‘I am going to buy my husband more time so I can call the police,'” she said.

Knowing that her husband’s Discover Card was not going to work at Bank of America, she said that she used the time to call police. Following the location tracking after she hung up with the kidnapper, police made their way to the last location on Fondren Road in southwest Houston.

The alleged kidnapper and his victim had moved on from the Bank of America to a nearby Chevron, where police picked them up.

Vanessa Chavez said that police called her and told her that they had her husband and he was safe.

“I mean, it was in a matter of minutes, but it felt like a very long time,” she said.

Houston Police said that the suspect had also kidnapped and robbed a Dominoes Pizza delivery person just one day before targeting Chavez.

“I am really happy that they did catch the guy because we didn’t know at the time, but it was probably something he did before and something he’d do again,” Vanessa Chavez said.

She says the frightening incident has left her husband with anxiety and panic attacks. He is no longer going to make deliveries for Uber Eats.

“We would have never imagined something like this would have happened to him,” Vanessa Chavez said.

Here’s a news video about the arrest:

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