Family surprised at robbery, abduction arrest

James Pree, photo courtesy Virginia Beach Police.

VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. (WAVY) – The family member of a man arrested in two robbery and carjacking cases says he was surprised when police arrived at his door Thursday.

Emmanuel Gibbs says his wife’s cousin, James Clifton Pree, Jr., came to them a few weeks ago looking for a place to live. Gibbs says he and his wife were not aware that Pree was a suspect in two Virginia Beach cases.

Police said Pree carjacked a woman Sunday on Holland Road, and forced her at gunpoint to drive to an ATM and give him cash. A police report states Pree then forced her to drive to a parking lot on Holland Road near the first one, where he tied the woman up and left her in the car. Police said Pree held the woman in her car for several hours.

Pree is also charged in a second case from last August. In that case, police said Pree shoved a woman aside from her car and stole her Acura sedan from the parking lot of an apartment complex on Snowdrift Circle.

Pree appeared by video this afternoon in a Virginia Beach courtroom to face felony abduction, robbery, carjacking and gun charges.

“I’m upset because I feel he put my family in jeopardy, he could have told us  something,” said Gibbs. “We didn’t know all this other stuff had even taken place until yesterday when the police came and got him.”

Pree is in the Virginia Beach Correctional Center without bond. He has a trial set for December 5.

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