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St. Petersburg police arrest man in stabbing, kidnapping

ST. PETERSBURG — A Largo man suspected of kidnapping and stabbing a Tampa man last week has been arrested, police said.

Authorities arrested Robert A. Webb, 20, of 10167 Sailwinds Blvd., on charges of attempted first-degree murder and kidnapping Monday.

Webb is the second suspect arrested in the kidnapping of Sohil Merchant, a 27-year-old businessman who was found tied up outside a home on Fifth Avenue N early Thursday with severe stab wounds.

Police said the men accused of kidnapping him wanted an undisclosed amount of money for ransom. Police said the incident had drug overtones but have not elaborated.

It started Wednesday, police said, when two armed men lured Merchant to a Clearwater apartment for a merchandise sale and then tied him up. They put him in the trunk of his Lexus GS 300 and drove to Hillsborough County, where one man, identified as Lewis Harris, 31, left the car.

Police said Webb drove the car to St. Petersburg, parked it near Fifth Avenue N and 38th Street, and stabbed Merchant multiple times. He left Merchant and drove away in his Lexus.

Merchant was taken to Bayfront Medical Center with severe wounds.

Harris, who lives at the Clearwater apartment, was arrested Thursday on charges of kidnapping and being a felon in possession of a firearm. He remained in jail Tuesday.

Webb was in the Pinellas County jail in lieu without bond.

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St. Petersburg police arrest man in stabbing, kidnapping 04/06/10 [Last modified: Tuesday, April 6, 2010 9:39am]
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