Posted: Aug 23, 2012 6:05 PM
Updated: Aug 24, 2012 8:58 AM
HIDALGO COUNTY - A brazen, daytime kidnapping north of Penitas has local residents nervous about an increase in crime in the region.
Images from a surveillance camera depict the moment when Juan Cantu Jr., 22, was taken at gunpoint from JR Tire Shop along Tom Gill Road.
"I don't know that we can live here safely in Penitas, because that situation is awful," Manuel Campos said of the incident.
Campos said the kidnapping is akin to cases happening south of the border.
"It's wrong. We need more protection," he said.
Hidalgo County sheriff's deputies are handling the investigation. Detectives said Cantu's father called for help after the incident. He wasn't at the tire shop at the time of the kidnapping.
Investigators said the kidnappers took the man in a blue Ford Explorer. Witnesses said the men were wearing masks and carrying handguns.
Employees said Cantu tried to escape from his captors.
Today, the tire shop was not open for business.
"You can't trust anyone now," he said.