LUFKIN, TX (KTRE) - Lufkin Police detectives arrested a bookstore owner Saturday morning after a month-long investigation into a kidnapping-for-hire plot which crossed state lines.
According to LPD, Jason McLaughlin, owner of the Thrifty Book Nut, allegedly attempted to hire someone to kidnap a Louisiana man with the intention of killing. The investigation was led by Detective Corporal Kevin Jackson.
McLaughlin was arrested on a charge of second degree felony criminal solicitation of aggravated kidnapping.
Several customers that stopped by to shop at the new bookstore were shocked to find out what happened.
"We pulled in here and when I walked in I was told it was not open and there was some type of trouble with the police and the owner," said one customer. "I was so shocked. We just realized this store was here."
Police Chief Gerald Williamson said he applauded Jackson's efforts in the case. He said that the department's current priority is to safeguard all involved parties.
"It isn't unusual for someone to get angry, but it is odd and rare that someone would do something affirmatively to carry out those thoughts," Williamson said. "That's why we devoted so many resources and so much time to this investigation. It is now crucial that we protect everyone that has been threatened by this individual."
Jackson said more charges against McLaughlin are likely.