DECATUR -- Police say a modern day "Bonnie & Clyde" plotted to kidnap and steal from a man with autism. They say 29-year old Robert Lyles and 23-year old Brittney Smith created an elaborate plan. The two were living in the 600-block of West Wood. They have two children together. WCIA-3's Megan Brilley finds out what they had planned.
Police say the created a plot to scam and steal as much money as they could from someone they knew was vulnerable. The story starts when Lyles met the 26-year old victim while they both worked as contract employees at Caterpillar.
He introduced Smith to the victim who came to believe they were in a relationship, telling police they'd even been intimate. That's when Smith called the victim, told him she was in jail and needed money to get out. The victim gave Lyles $1,200, but Smith wasn't in jail.
Another time, police say Lyles followed the victim to a credit union where he withdrew $400 and gave it to Lyles who was to give it to Smith from the victim.
The plot culminated into a bizarre kidnapping when the victim and Smith were allegedly held up by an unknown armed suspect, although it was only the victim who had money or property stolen. That suspect also took the victim to his credit union where he was forced to withdrawn $7,000, essentially emptying his entire account.
Police say the ruse isn't uncommon and scammers often target vulnerable people, including those with autism, all the time. The armed suspect is still at large. Anyone with information should contact police.
Original: 1:12 pm
DECATUR -- Two people face charges of kidnapping and armed robbery while police search for a third. 29-year old Robert Lyles and 23-year old Brittney Smith are accused of taking part in an elaborate plot to befriend, kidnap and rob a 26-year old autistic man.
Authorities say Lyles befriended the victim and introduced him to Smith under a fictitious name. Lyles and Smith have two children together.
The victim told police he believed he was in a relationship with Smith and were intimate on at least one occasion. Police say Lyles and Smith conned the victim for money ranging from $400 - $1,200 on several occasions.
Then, on August 30, the victim and Smith were at her home when an unknown man, armed with a silver handgun, entered, demanded money and forced the victim to drive to two branches of a credit union, where he withdrew $7,000 to give to the suspect.
Nothing was ever stolen from Smith or her home. Investigators are trying to determine the identity of the armed suspect.