A commando of armed civilians broke into an addictions treatment center in Irapuato, Guanajuato, and kidnapped more than two dozen youths early Wednesday morning.
Initial reports indicate that the attackers were looking for one patient in particular, but took at least 26 in the raid.
Irapuato Mayor Ricardo Ortiz said the exact number was unknown.
“As of now, we have not established how many people were taken against their will, since some witnesses say that some fled on their own [during the attack],” said Police Chief Pedro Cortés Zavala.
Local police and the army were deployed to protect the rehabilitation center after the attack, which was carried out by some 20 to 30 men traveling in four trucks.
An unidentified source in the Attorney General’s Office said four other people were taken from nearby homes and two more were picked up on the street.
The state government said 150 state police officers would be deployed to Irapuato to support security efforts.
Irapuato is a particularly violent municipality in Guanajuato: 258 were murdered with firearms between January and October. There have been 368 investigations into home robberies and 240 for vehicle theft, although there was not a single case of kidnapping reported.
The Santa Rosa de Lima Cartel operates in the region.