The three men, aged 25, 36 and 54 were detained on May 21 on suspicion they kidnapped and robbed a 62-year-old woman on May 6, police said in a statement.
The bumbling gang apparently thought they were abducting a relative of an indebted bus company owner, but police did not speculate on their intentions.
Investigators have managed to piece together the turn of events, which began when the men grabbed the woman around 9:15 pm on May 6 in a Neugereut district parking garage and forced her into a Volkswagen Golf. There they bound her hands and feet and covered her eyes with a blindfold.
From there they took her to a shed in Calw, some 33 kilometres from Stuttgart, where they tied her to a chair, leaving her overnight, the statement said.
The following morning they put the bound woman in a car boot and drove to an old guest house near Böblingen, where they provided food and told her the reason for the kidnapping.
But the woman turned out to be an employee of the bus company owner, and not a relative as the kidnappers thought.
“After the suspects had to conclude they had the wrong person in their grip, they let her go the same day around 8:30 pm near Leonberg,” the police said, adding that the repo men took their captive’s cash and forced her to reveal her bank card PIN number first.
Police followed up with extensive investigation into both the victim’s ordeal and her employer before finding and arresting the suspects, who are all German citizens.