Father, Daughter Charged With Kidnapping Thief at Self-Storage Facility in Hendersonville, NC

A father and daughter were arrested for kidnapping on Monday after apprehending a man they believed to have broken into their Hendersonville, N.C., self-storage unit and forcing him to the local magistrate’s office. Tracy Rhodes, 40, and Clifton Mullinax, 68, took suspect Kevin Laughter to the magistrate after he allegedly confessed to burglarizing Williams Mini Storage, according to the source.

A father and daughter were arrested for kidnapping on Monday after apprehending a man they believed to have broken into their Hendersonville, N.C., self-storage unit and forcing him to the local magistrate’s office. Tracy Rhodes, 40, and Clifton Mullinax, 68, took suspect Kevin Laughter to the magistrate after he allegedly confessed to burglarizing Williams Mini Storage, according to the source.

The incident unfolded after Rhodes and Mullinax noticed their storage unit had been broken into. It’s not clear from the report if the father and daughter own or manage the facility, or if they are tenants, but they were able to review video footage of the event. They recognized one of three burglars as Laughter, the source reported.

They then picked up Laughter at his residence and took him to the self-storage facility to show him the video, according to Police Capt. Bruce Simonds. Laughter allegedly confessed. Instead of calling police, Rhodes and Mullinax allegedly armed themselves with a concealed gun and a frying pan and drove Laughter to the magistrate’s office against his will.

“This was a case where they were trying to help the police and they had good intentions, but their intentions went the wrong way,” Simonds said. “We had to charge them. When you move somebody from one place to another against their will, it’s kidnapping. They could have detained [Laughter] at the scene and called us, and we could have wrapped it up in a neat arrest.”

Mullinax allegedly told Rhodes to hit Laughter with the frying pan if he tried to escape, Simonds said. His firearm has been confiscated, although accounts from Laughter and Mullinax differ on whether the weapon was used in transporting Laughter to the magistrate.

Laughter was charged with felony breaking and entering and booked into the Henderson County Detention Center in lieu of a $500 secured bond. Rhodes and Mullinax were charged with second-degree kidnapping, with secured bonds set at $1,500. All three have since been released from custody and are awaiting trial, the source reported.

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