Last of 4 Suspects Arrested in Alleged Kidnapping, Torture, Robbery of Costa Mesa Jewelrey Store Owner

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Police this week rounded up the last of four suspects they say took part in the kidnapping, torture and robbery of a Costa Mesa jewelry store owner last year.

Veronica Angel Berry, 25, of San Bernardino was arrested Wednesday on suspicion of possession of stolen property and being an accessory to a crime after the fact, the Costa Mesa Police Department said in a written statement. She was released from jail Friday morning after posting bail.

She joined three other suspects, including her husband, who were already behind bars in connection with the Dec. 4 kidnapping and robbery.

Marvin Antoine Brown, 25, of Diamond Bar, was arrested Jan. 28 and faces charges of conspiracy to a commit a crime, attempted kidnapping, kidnapping for ransom, torture, false imprisonment and battery causing serious bodily injury, according to police and Orange County booking records.

Leonard Antonyeo Berry, 31, of San Bernardino, was arrested Dec. 22 on suspicion of violating the terms of his parole stemming from a prior conviction, officials said. He was subsequently charged with attempted kidnapping, kidnapping, kidnapping for ransom, torture, false imprisonment and robbery.

Cedrick Emillion Reynolds, 28, of San Bernardino, was taken into custody Dec. 18 and charged with robbery, kidnapping for ransom, torture, false imprisonment and battery causing serious bodily injury.

The crime unfolded the night of Dec. 4 at the victim’s business, Diamond and Jewelry Exchange at 1808 Newport Blvd., according to police.

A sounding alarm first drew a police response shortly after 10 p.m., officials said at the time. Officers found the door unlocked, and also learned that the business had closed at 6 p.m., and that its owner was missing. After speaking with the owner’s family, police took a missing person report.

Detectives later learned the victim had been kidnapped from the rear parking lot of his business shortly after 6:20 p.m., officials said.

“The victim was abducted, placed in the back seat of the suspects’ vehicle and tortured over several hours,” according to the police statement. “The suspects returned to the jewelry store and stole cash and jewelry. They fled the scene after the alarm was activated.”

Once the robbery was completed, the suspects drove the victim about seven miles to a parking lot in Santa Ana, where they pushed him from the vehicle and fled.

The victim was seriously injured and still bound with duct tape when he was found the following morning, police said. He was taken to a hospital for treatment.

Costa Mesa police and Orange County Sheriff’s Department investigators worked together to identify and arrest the suspects, authorities added.

In addition to the Costa Mesa crime, the suspects are also accused of trying to kidnap another jewelry store owner from his Yorba Linda home in an attempt to rob his business in Orange four days earlier.  The victim was able to fight them off in that instance, police said.

Bail for Barry Leonard was set at $1 million, while Reynolds and Brown were being held without bail.

The three male suspects were scheduled to make an appearance in Orange County Superior Court on March 10, records show. A court date for Veronica Berry was not yet available.

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