(NEW YORK) — Being pulled out of a car at gunpoint by masked men while heavy metal music plays in the background would be a nightmarish experience for most people.
Not so for the increasing number of people who pay hundreds of dollars to experience it.
“It’s more or less a thrill entertainment of a kidnapping scenario,” said Shanel Hill, a professional abductor for the Detroit-based company called Extreme Kidnapping.
For about $500, you can get the four-hour “econo-kidnapping” package, or spend thousands of dollars for more deluxe packages that can run a full day.
“Some people come to us because they want to lose control,” Hill said.
The company’s founder, Adam Thick, says he was inspired to start the company nearly a decade ago by The Game, the 1997 movie starring Michael Douglas as a wealthy investment banker given the gift of a “game” that brings excitement into his life.
Law enforcement experts, however, say the excitement created by the all-too-real kidnappings could create real-life danger.
An alleged abduction in New York City made headlines earlier this month as police investigated whether the incident – in which a man with a plastic bag over his head and another wearing a mask forced a woman into a minivan at gunpoint – was a hoax staged to celebrate a friend’s birthday. It was.
“What you’ve done is create a situation where both the police, the victims and the fake bad guy could be harmed,” ABC News analyst and former FBI special agent Brad Garrett said.
Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio
Matt McFarland, CNN
AJ Willingham, CNN
Pamela Brown, Jake Tapper and Dan Merica, CNN
Ray Sanchez, CNN