Police have made three arrests but say they are still hunting suspects in connection with an alleged kidnap and assault incident which left a 24-year-old in hospital with serious head injuries.
Three people – two men and a women, one aged in their 20s and two aged in their 50s – were arrested late last night by officers from Devon and Cornwall Police on suspicion of kidnap and grievous bodily harm.
The trio were arrested at a number of locations in the Plymstock area and have been released on bail until a date next month as inquiries continue.
Investigations by detectives has now built a clearer picture of what is believed to have taken place on Wednesday night.
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Det Insp Illona Rosson told PlymouthLive it is believed the 24-year-old was lured to Maxwell Road in the Cattedown area of the city sometime between 7.50pm and 8.10pm on September 23.
Around six people, thought all to be men, grabbed the male and put him into the back of a van, described as a white Volkswagen T5 Transporter which had a black bonnet.
Det Insp Rosson said the 24-year-old was “not known” to his alleged kidnappers but investigators believe it was “a pre-planned incident”.
She added: “We are exploring motives behind this incident and we are taking this mater very seriously.”
Once inside the van he was stripped completely naked and repeatedly assaulted around the head, causing a large cut to his skull and “significant facial injuries”.
Over the next hour, the man was also interrogated by the people assaulting him.
Shortly before 9.11pm, when police received their first call from motorists who spotted the man running into traffic near the Dartmoor Diner on the A386, he was dumped in the diner’s car park by a white van – possible a white VW T5 Transporter.
Det Insp Rosson said there were a number of suspects who were still outstanding in relation to the incident and she urged them to come forward.
She has also requested that anyone who was in the Cattedown area between 7.45pm and 8.15pm on Wednesday night come forward if they saw anything suspicious.
Investigators are particularly keen to hear from anyone who saw either a white Volkswagen T5 Transporter with a black bonnet, a large dark single-cab pick-up truck with roof bars and a distinctive motif on the side, a black Vauxhall Corsa, a dark-coloured multiple people carrier possibly a Mercedes Vito-style vehicle or a silver Mazda which was left at the Maxwell Road scene.
The 24-year-old man has been briefly spoken to by police and currently remains in Derriford Hospital where he is recovering.
Anyone with information which may be relevant to this investigation is asked to contact police on 101 or email firstname.lastname@example.org quoting Operation Lodgehall. Alternatively call Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555111.