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Chesterfield abduction leaves community searching for answers

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CHESTERFIELD, Va. (WTVR) – Chesterfield residents and police are questioning why anyone would want to abduct a gas station owner.

“It’s very uncommon,” Lieutenant Randy Horowitz of the Chesterfield police told CBS 6. 

“This is the first abduction of this type that we’ve worked on in quite a few years,” Lt. Horowitz added.

According to police, 44-year old Paresh Patel was abducted around 6 am, right when he was scheduled to open his Raceway Gas Station, located right off the 5600 block of Jefferson Davis Highway.

“A witness reported that an owner was entering the store when he was abducted by two men, and they left in a dark-colored van or SUV,” Lt. Horowitz said.

Chesterfield Police is leading the investigation, with the assistance of the FBI.

Customers were shocked, and comments poured in on Facebook as well.

“He is a real nice guy,” Jeff Poor, a customer of the station, told CBS 6. 

“If you don’t have money and need gas, he’ll help you out,” Poor said.

The Patel family gathered at their North Chesterfield home Sunday and requested privacy during this time.

Family members, off-camera, thanked those in the community for helping put up posters Sunday.

A neighbor of Patel’s, Mark Philips, told CBS 6 he was shocked to learn the news.

“I’m stunned – you wouldn’t suspect that happening to anyone in this neighborhood,” Philips said.  

Patel is 5’4”, 136 pounds, 44-years old, with black hair and brown eyes.

He is of Asian and Indian decent.

Anyone with information is asked to contact the Chesterfield County Police at 804-748-1251.