Police: York City man on the lam after foiled kidnapping

Liz Evans Scolforo
York Dispatch
  • Police said the alleged kidnapper bound his victim's wrists with her work lanyard and a seat belt.
  • Ramfis Tavarez-Berroa remains on the lam, police said.

A York City man's plot to kidnap his co-worker was foiled when the alleged victim got away from him at a Berks County convenience store and screamed for help, police said.

Fleetwood Police were called to the Sheetz in the 14000 block of Kutztown Road in Richmond Township, just outside Fleetwood, about 9 p.m. Wednesday, Aug. 2, according to charging documents.

There, they found a 23-year-old York woman who said she had been kidnapped by her co-worker, Ramfis Tavarez-Berroa, police said.

She told police she and Tavarez-Berroa work for the same employer in New Oxford, Adams County, and that she was giving him a ride home from work when they stopped to eat at a Burger King along the way.

He then offered to take over driving so the woman could eat, and she agreed, police said.

But at some point, the woman realized they weren't heading in the right direction.

Wrists bound: At that point, Tavarez-Berroa pulled over and used the woman's work lanyard and a seat belt to bind her wrists, charging documents state.

He told her she wouldn't be hurt and that they were going to New York, according to police.

When Tavarez-Berroa pulled into the Sheetz to refuel, the woman asked to use the restroom, police said. Her captor untied her and took her cellphone, then both went inside the store, documents state.

But the woman was able to grab her phone back while Tavarez-Berroa was paying for gas, police said. The woman then screamed for help.

Took off: That caused Tavarez-Berroa to flee the area in the woman's car, heading north on Route 222, police said.

As she was speaking with police, Tavarez-Berroa called her cellphone, which she handed to an officer, police said, but the alleged kidnapper refused to speak with the officer.

The woman, whose name wasn't released, told officers she met Tavarez-Berroa about nine months ago at her workplace and had given him rides in the past. She said he left there for a time but returned a few days before the kidnapping, police said.

Store surveillance cameras backed up the woman's statements, as did the marks on her wrists from being bound, charging documents state.

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Didn't go home: At the request of Fleetwood Police, a York City police officer checked the alleged kidnapper's home, but found neither Tavarez-Berroa nor the stolen car, according to documents.

The car was recovered Friday by New Jersey State Police near Newark.

Tavarez-Berroa, 20, of the 300 block of North Hawthorne Street, remains on the lam, police said.

He will be charged with kidnapping for ransom, unlawful restraint, simple assault, theft of a vehicle and unauthorized use of a motor vehicle, according to court documents.

Anyone with information on his whereabouts can call 911 or Fleetwood Police Department at 610-944-7011 and refer to incident number 83- 17-01940. For anonymity, contact Crime Alert Berks at 877-373-9913 or  text  keyword ALERTBERKS along with your tip to 84-7-411.

— Reach Liz Evans Scolforo at levans@yorkdispatch.com or on Twitter at @LizScolforoYD.