Harrisburg police offer safety tips after reported attack, kidnapping during home showing

HARRISBURG, Pa. (WHTM) – Harrisburg police say a man trying to sell a home was beaten, kidnapped, and held for ransom.

Two men zip tied and duct taped the 28-year-old male victim, according to court documents.

“That’s crazy. That’s wild,” Robert Reeves said.

Reeves thinks it’s crazy what police say happened across the street from him on Jan. 11.

“He was assaulted, attacked, beaten, punched, and ultimately had a gun pulled out on him,” Harrisburg police Capt. Gabe Olivera said.

Raymond Thomas (submitted)
Raymond Thomas (submitted)

Police charged 41-year-old Raymond Thomas of Susquehanna Township with kidnapping for ransom, unlawful restraint, and aggravated assault.

Investigators say the victim renovates homes and sells them.

Thomas and another man set up a tour of the home along the 800 block of North 18th Street, tied up the victim, demanded money, and then took him to another location in Susquehanna Township, according to police.

Reeves says the person who eventually moved into the 18th Street home made a discovery in the basement.

“She said there was a little pool of blood or something or a pool of blood in the basement,” Reeves said. “You could tell something was going on. That’s wild.”

Police have some tips to avoid a situation like this if you’re in the real estate business. They say tell someone where you’re going if you are showing a home.

“Maybe work out something beforehand,” Olivera said. “Hey, if I give you a call, and I say this, I need you to come help me or call for help.”

Pretend to make a phone call if you feel uncomfortable.

“Generally, try to meet the individuals outside, not inside the property. That way, you can see if they’re by themselves or are there other people with them,” Olivera said.

Always take someone along with you for a home showing.

“Look at the individuals when they’re coming to see the property,” Olivera said. “See what they’re interested in. Are they actually interested in the property or are they more concerned about you or who’s around?”

“I think that could have happened in another neighborhood also,” Reeves said. “Unfortunately, it happened across the street.”

Police have not released a description of the second suspect. Anyone with information is asked to give them a call.

Thomas is out on $100,000 bail as of Jan. 30.

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