Suspect in alleged Portage la Prairie kidnapping arrested in Winnipeg

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Police have arrested a man who is alleged to have pretended to be in distress on the side of the road in Portage la Prairie on Friday evening so he could kidnap a mother and her toddler, and force them to drive him to Winnipeg.

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Police have arrested a man who is alleged to have pretended to be in distress on the side of the road in Portage la Prairie on Friday evening so he could kidnap a mother and her toddler, and force them to drive him to Winnipeg.

Michael Stephen Klimchuk was apprehended in the Manitoba capital early Sunday and is in the custody of the Portage detachment, RCMP announced in a press release.

Klimchuk had been at large since approximately 6:30 p.m. on Nov. 25.

Michael Stephen Klimchuk (RCMP handout)

Earlier this weekend, RCMP held a press conference to seek the public’s assistance in locating the man wanted on several charges – including kidnapping, forcible confinement and possession of stolen property of a value upwards of $5,000.

RCMP Cpl. Julie Courchaine said a 25-year-old mother was trying to be a good Samaritan when she was abducted, alongside her two-year-old during rush hour on Friday.

“She was driving in the area, saw this male in distress on the side of the road, pulled over to assist him, at which point he jumps in,” Courchaine said Saturday, adding the stranger demanded the woman drive him to Winnipeg.

“Intimidation and coercion” were involved, but the mother-daughter duo was physically unharmed, she added.

The woman called 911 after they arrived in Winnipeg and the suspect fled the vehicle near Polo Park, police said.

RCMP indicated Klimchuk was known to police, but declined to disclose any previous interactions with the suspect.

maggie.macintosh@freepress.mb.ca

Twitter: @macintoshmaggie

Maggie Macintosh

Maggie Macintosh
Reporter

Maggie Macintosh reports on education for the Winnipeg Free Press. Funding for the Free Press education reporter comes from the Government of Canada through the Local Journalism Initiative.

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