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Pair arrested after kidnapping homeless woman and demanding ransom from family, deputies say

TAMPA — A Tampa woman and a Brandon man were arrested Sunday after they kidnapped a homeless woman and demanded $1,500 from her family, authorities said.

Veronica Yvonne Johnson, 32, and Shaun Lamont Forbes, 35, took 45-year-old Tammy Adams from an unknown location Sunday and drove her to Johnson's home at 8504 17th St. N in Tampa, according to a Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office arrest report.

Over the next 13 hours, Johnson and Forbes made calls to Adams' family members to demand a total of $1,500, the report says. The pair directed the money be sent to a third person, described in the report only as a "witness."

A detective contacted that witness and conducted a monitored phone call to Johnson. During the call, Johnson could be heard yelling at Forbes to take Adams out of the house, according to the report. When detectives arrived at the house, Forbes fled in a four-door Honda with Adams in the front passenger seat.

Johnson admitted to a detective that she had spoken with one of Adams' family members to persuade him to give Forbes the ransom money, the report says.

Adams is homeless and owed Johnson or Forbes for drugs, said Sheriff's Office spokeswoman Cristal Nuñez.

Johnson and Forbes were booked into the Hillsborough County jail on kidnapping charges and were being held without bail Monday.

Forbes was already wanted on warrants for failing to appear on previous charges of grand theft and giving false information to a pawn broker, records show.

Johnson has prior convictions in Florida for grand theft, grand theft auto and identification fraud, records show.

Times senior news researcher John Martin contributed to this report. Contact Tony Marrero at or (813) 226-3374. Follow @tmarrerotimes.