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Greenbrier County Couple Arrested For Kidnapping A Beckley Man And Tying Him Up

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BECKLEY, WV (WOAY) –  Two people have been arrested for hitting a Beckley man in the head, tying him up with an extension cord and tape.

According to court documents, Beckley Police responded to an assault complaint back in January of 2018.  Debra Yates and Ben Jacobs Jr. have been extradited back to Raleigh County, facing several charges.  When officers arrived on the scene, a newspaper delivery driver told police he observed a victim on his porch.  The victim’s ankles were bound together with clear tape and wrist were tired together with an extension cord.

After further investigating, the victim said he was traveling at night on Robert C. Byrd Dr. when he observed a female, Yates, sitting alongside the roadway, in the Guitar Plus area.  Due to the cold temperatures,  he asked the Yates if she needed a ride and she told him she was hungry.  When he returned from McDonald’s with a cheeseburger the woman was accompanied by a male, Ben Jacobs Jr.  They told the victim they needed a ride to Greenbrier County.  The victim told them he would take them but needed to stop by his house first.

The victim let both the man and woman inside his home.  The victim stated that Yates struck him on his head with his 9mm handgun and then started striking him with her hands and kicking him.  Jacobs restrained him with toy handcuffs, tape, and an extension cord.   Both Jacobs and Yates stole numerous items that consisted of five firearms, jewelry, and medication.  They left the house with the victim tied up and stole the victims’ Toyota Highlander and fled.

Detectives later identified both subjects and located them at their residence in Smoot, WV, which is in Greenbrier County.

Yates agreed to speak with detectives and told them what had happened.  Yates stated that while in the home the victim brandished a gun on her and walked her into his bedroom.  While in the bedroom, Yates stated that the victim tried to force her to have sex.  Yates later became angry after that fact and struck him in the head with a soup bowl.

Yates stated she and Jacobs bounded the victim’s ankles and wrist together. Yates further stated that the victim gave them the keys to the car and told them to take it.

Jacobs is charged with grand larceny, first-degree robbery, malicious wounding, and kidnapping.  Yates right now has been arrested for a warrant and will likely face more charges. Both are being held in the Southern Regional Jail.



Tyler Barker

Tyler is the Chief Meteorologist & Digital Content Manager for WOAY-TV. You can find him weekdays at 5, 6, and 11 pm on WOAY-TV. Follow me on Facebook and Twitter @wxtylerb. Have any news tips or weather questions? Email me at tbarker@woay.com