Midlothian police have made two new arrests in relation to last month’s kidnapping of an elderly couple.
Jeffrey Stayns Fernando of Plano and Akash Tyagi of Frisco, both 22 years old, each face two counts of aggravated kidnapping with a deadly weapon and aggravated robbery, as well as one count each of engaging in organized criminal activity with a deadly weapon.
As previously covered by The Dallas Express, the charges stem from an incident that occurred on October 9, when a 72-year-old man and a 68-year-old woman were allegedly forced from their home at gunpoint by three men. The couple was taken to a short-term rental in DeSoto, where they were tied up while the suspects attempted to gain access to their online bank accounts.
After several hours, the victims were left alone with just one of the kidnappers. They managed to loosen their restraints and grab a knife from the kitchen. They confronted the lone kidnapper, stabbing him in the leg, and called authorities.
The suspect who was stabbed, 20-year-old Noah Gulzar, was captured because the victims knew him from previous business dealings. The two others had been at large until recently.
Both Fernando and Tyagi are being held in Ellis County jail on bonds of $1.25 million each, according to jail records.
In nearby Dallas, there have been 2,019 robberies and 152 kidnappings logged this year as of November 10, per the City of Dallas crime analytics dashboard.
Efforts to fight crime have been impeded by police being chronically understaffed. The Dallas Police Department currently operates with fewer than 3,200 officers despite a City analysis previously advising that some 4,000 are needed to properly maintain public safety.
The shortage has been especially felt in Downtown Dallas, where significantly higher crime rates are logged compared to the downtown area of Fort Worth, which is reportedly patrolled by a special neighborhood police unit that works alongside private security guards.