TanCo founder to plead in kidnapping of Maplewood man

Todd Beckman, founder of the TanCo chain of tanning salons, but no longer with the company, conspired with others to kidnap and beat a Maplewood man who had stolen money and marijuana from him, a co-defendant said Wednesday, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reported.

The co-defendant pleaded guilty in U.S. District Court in St. Louis to conspiracy to commit a kidnapping.

His plea says Beckman brought in 50 to 80 pounds of marijuana at a time from California. The marijuana was stored in co-defendant, Blake Laubinger’s, home in Pacific.

According to the Post-Dispatch, the kidnapping victim, a 24-year-old Maplewood man, (according to the Riverfront Times) who dealt marijuana for Beckman, knew that a shipment had arrived, broke into Laubinger’s house on Oct. 29, 2016, and stole 24 pounds of marijuana and $15,000 cash, the Post-Dispatch reports.

Laubinger and Beckman planned to get the drugs and money back.

The Maplewood man was ambushed inside his home, where then they tied him up then took him back to Pacific; there they fastened him to a pole, beat him, and shocked him with a Taser, according to court documents.

The same day, they called to the victim’s parents demanding ransom money. The parents paid $27,000 to Beckman, documents say. The victim’s father picked him up and took him to a hospital. Some of the money was later recovered by investigators.

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