3 booked in robbery, kidnapping

Three local men were arrested after a man reported being robbed and then kidnapped Friday evening in Clifton.

The robbery victim was able to flee the men after they stopped at his residence in Fruitvale, the Mesa County Sheriff’s Department said.

Stephen Dale Blake, 36, 1074 Cedar Way, Fruita, was arrested on suspicion of robbery, menacing and being a previous offender in possession of a weapon, the Sheriff’s Department said. Blake has been accused of pointing a gun at a man in the 600 block of Laurel Lane and demanding money, according to Blake’s arrest affidavit.

Blake also was arrested on suspicion of kidnapping and forcing the robbery victim into a car and driving away. He was taking the victim to his residence on Sandra Avenue in an attempt to steal more money, Blake’s arrest affidavit said.

Around 5:30 p.m., deputies responded to the victim’s residence on the report of an assault, and he told authorities the suspects left the scene in a green BMW. Deputies located the BMW at a car wash near 30 Road and Interstate 70 Business Loop.

The victim told authorities he may have been robbed and kidnapped because of a money dispute.

Deputies found a .38-caliber pistol in the BMW that Blake had been in, Blake’s arrest affidavit said.

Also arrested were Matthew Raymond Emert, 39, 418 Laurel Lane, and Michael Ray Praytor, 39, 3233 Main St., Clifton, on suspicion of three counts of felony complicity. They were accused of allowing the kidnapping, robbery and menacing to occur without stopping it, according to their arrest affidavits.

According to the affidavits, Emert and Praytor denied being a part of the kidnapping, robbery and felony menacing, but each told authorities he did not stop Blake from trying to get additional money from the victim against his will.


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