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Handyman pleads guilty to breaking into customer's home, kidnapping her

Clarence Cobbs was sentenced to 25 years in jail.
Credit: Orleans Parish DA

A former handyman admitted that he took advantage of a customer's trust to break into her home and kidnap her.

According to District Attorney Leon Cannizzaro's office, Clarence Cobbs pleaded guilty to to aggravated burglary and second-degree kidnapping on May 8. He was sentenced to 25-years in prison.

Cobbs, 57, was employed as a handyman at the 60-year-old victim's house. According to the DA's office, Cobbs left one of her windows unlocked so that he could break into her home on Dec. 18, 2016.

Authorities say Cobbs broke into her house that night. The victim tried to fight him off with a god club, but Cobbs tied her up with an electric cord and demanded she turn over her bank card and give him the PIN. When she refused, Cobbs put her into her car and drove to an ATM.

The victim then attempted to escape, but Cobbs caught her and forced her into the trunk of the car.

The victim managed to escape the next time the vehicle stopped and ran to a gas station on Downman Road, where she called police.

Officers took her back to her house, where they saw the car Cobbs had stolen parked nearby. Police found Cobbs hiding inside the vehicle, with the debit card still in his possession.

"Given the age of this defendant, we agreed a 25-year sentence was sufficient to spare the victim the additional trauma of a trial while also ensuring no one else will be harmed by this dangerous individual," Cannizzaro said. "This man put his victim through a terrifying ordeal, and now he will pay a significant price for that criminal conduct."