An exotic car dealer was the victim of a carjacking and extortion plot by business associates this week, Boynton Beach Police said.
Police arrested Natale Passaro, 49, David Baltunado, 37; and Jason Knox, 33, Tuesday night after they allegedly forced a man into a home on Southwest 23rd Avenue and demanded money they believed was owed for previous business deals.
The 39-year-old alleged victim told Boynton police officers he went to Knox’s home to retrieve personal items from a vehicle that is rented out as part of their exotic car business. The man alleged that Baltunado and Passaro then forced him into the house and told him he had to pay more than $150,000.
The pair took the keys to a Mercedes-G Class Wagon the man was driving and told him they would keep the vehicle until he paid at least $10,000, according to police arrest report made public Wednesday. Knox reportedly told police his business partner was behind in payments by approximately $180,000.
He allegedly also told officers he left the room and shut the door as his friends, Passaro and Baltunado, brought his business partner into the house. Knox said he heard arguing, but did not see any violence.
Knox returned to the room and reiterated that the alleged victim would not get his car back until he paid $10,000, police said.
The alleged victim reportedly agreed to surrender the vehicle and left in fear for his safety. He called his wife, who owns the car, then contacted police.
Baltunado was released from custody Wednesday on $10,000 bail while Knox was released on $5,000. bail. Passaro was released on $21,000 bail.