Las Cruces man allegedly kidnaps new friend, steals his car

Crime

EL PASO, Texas (KTSM) — A Las Cruces man is accused of kidnapping and stealing a car from a man who befriended and helped the man just days earlier.

Matthew Troy Croker, 37, is charged with a first-degree felony count of kidnapping and a fourth-degree felony count of unlawful taking of a motor vehicle.

He is accused of befriending another man, accepting money from him and hanging out with him for a few days, and then kidnapping the man and stealing his vehicle.

According to Las Cruces police detectives, a local man, the victim, was staying at a local Motel 6 when he met Croker. The two became quick friends and the victim gave Croker money to help improve Croker’s circumstances.

On Tuesday evening, the victim rented a room for Croker at the Staybridge Suites. That evening, while the victim was at the Motel 6, he began receiving text messages from Croker, who was demanding more money.

At some point, the victim went to Croker’s room. Croker then allegedly threatened, battered and held the victim against his will until he gave Croker more money.

Police said Croker threatened the victim and indicated he would go to the victim’s home and cause harm to the victim’s family if he did not receive more money.

Croker allegedly then forced the victim to go to the Pic Quik at 2001 Bataan Memorial West so the man could get money from an ATM in the store.

While in the store, the victim informed an employee of his circumstances and asked them to call police. When Croker learned police had been called, he stole the victim’s vehicle and fled the area.

Croker was arrested Saturday afternoon and booked into the Dona Ana County Detention Center, where he is being held without bond.

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