2nd man arrested in connection with St. George kidnapping case

Drake L. Beckler. Photo Courtesy: Washington County Jail

ST. GEORGE, Utah, Jan. 8, 2020 (Gephardt Daily) — A second man has been arrested in connection with a kidnapping and assault case in St. George.

The incident happened on Dec. 23. Officials say it involved suspects Drake L. Beckler, 30, of St. George, who was arrested Monday, Jacob Dane Hancock, 26, of St. George, and one other man not named in court documents.

A probable cause statement from the 5th District Court of St. George said Beckler is facing charges of:

  • Aggravated robbery, a first-degree felony
  • Aggravated kidnapping, a first-degree felony
  • Burglary, a second-degree felony
  • Theft of a firearm, a second-degree felony
  • Theft, a third-degree felony
  • Aggravated assault, a third-degree felony

Officers with the St. George Police Department responded to a motel in St. George on a reported robbery Dec. 23, the statement said.

“The victim reported that he had been in his hotel room and someone knocked at the door,” the statement said. “He opened it and three suspects had entered his room. The victim reported that two suspects had shown him guns, pointed them at him, and threatened to hit him with them. One suspect had a stun gun and used it to shock the victim multiple times during the incident.”

One of the suspects had used the victim’s phone to make a PayPal transfer to an account for $100. The transfer was made to an account for “Drake Beckler.” The suspects took the victim’s wallet which contained money orders with a combined value of $1,800. Additional property was allegedly taken from the victim’s hotel room, the statement said. The stolen property included a handgun that belonged to the victim. Other stolen items had a combined estimated value of $1,200.

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“The suspects then took the victim to their vehicle in the parking lot and drove him to three different banks,” the statement said. “The victim had told the suspects he wasn’t going with them and they had threatened him with the guns.”

Later, after the suspects and the victim returned to the motel, the victim was able to escape and call police.

Beckler was identified as a suspect through a photo lineup, PayPal records, and video footage, the statement said. On Jan. 2, a search warrant was served on an address related to the investigation. Beckler was detained at the address and subsequently interviewed. He allegedly confirmed that he had been at the motel and confirmed that he had done the PayPal transfer using the victim’s phone.

“During the service of the search warrant, multiple stolen items from this incident were recovered,” the statement said. “A phone matching the one stolen from the victim was recovered in a bag Drake identified as his. Follow up later confirmed that the phone was the victim’s stolen phone. Also recovered during the search warrant was a handgun that the victim reported was used by the suspects in the course of this incident.”

The suspect was on probation or parole, the statement said. He was transported to Washington County Jail with his bail set at $70,000.

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