Des Plaines car dealership employees kidnapped, beaten, burned in armed robbery: police

The three victims were "beaten repeatedly, burned with a hot metal object and restrained throughout the evening," police said.

ByABC7 Chicago Digital Team WLS logo
Friday, March 3, 2023
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DES PLAINES, Ill. (WLS) -- Des Plaines police announced charges against two men in the kidnapping, beating and torturing of three car dealership employees during an armed robbery last month.

George Athanasakos, 24, of Wood Dale, and Brandon Bratcher, 27, of Hanover Park are accused of kidnapping two men and a woman from a car dealership on the evening of February 10, Des Plaines police said in a press release Friday.

Two of the kidnapping victims owned the car dealership in the 600-block of E. Northwest Highway and the third victim was an employee, police said. The night of the kidnapping, the victims told police that several masked offenders entered the dealership armed with rifles and handguns, then robbed them of their belongings.

The suspects then tied up their hands and feet, covered their heads and forced them into a vehicle, police said.

The three victims were driven to a different location where they were "beaten repeatedly, burned with a hot metal object and restrained throughout the evening," police said.

The victims said they were eventually driven back to the dealership the next morning, and told police they were told they had to pay the men a substantial amount of money and were threatened with violence if they did not pay.

Police said their investigation revealed that Athanasakos and Bratcher knew the victims through prior dealings with buying and re-furbishing vehicles.

One of the victims positively identified Athanakos and Bratcher during the incident, police said.

Des Plaines police said they arrested Athanasakos on Feb. 16 in Palatine, and Bratcher was taken into custody in Arlington Heights on March 1.

Both men were charged with three counts of aggravated kidnapping and three counts of armed robbery.

Athanasakos and Bratcher are being held without bond after an initial hearing, police said.

Des Plaines police added that they are confident the victims were targeted and there is no immediate threat to the public.