UPDATE: Suspects in custody after Kamloops carjacking, kidnapping | iNFOnews | Thompson-Okanagan's News Source

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UPDATE: Suspects in custody after Kamloops carjacking, kidnapping

A police cruiser blocks of McAuley Place in Dallas on Thursday, Feb. 14, 2019.
February 15, 2019 - 12:37 PM

KAMLOOPS - An armed robbery in downtown Kamloops early yesterday morning turned into a kidnapping and carjacking, which ended with arrests in both the North Okanagan and Kelowna.

RCMP say two men, armed with guns, and a woman held up two men and a woman early yesterday morning, Feb. 14, in downtown Kamloops. The suspects grabbed the woman and escaped in one of the other victim’s vehicle.

The investigation led officers to a home on Dallas Drive where they thought one of the suspects would be, but after cordoning off the area found the home empty and ransacked, according to a RCMP release this morning.

Police say they had to secure scenes throughout the city as they obtained search warrants to help their investigation.

The stolen vehicle was later found abandoned in the area near Highway 97 and Barnhartvale Road.

The police investigation led officers to believe the suspects and kidnapping victim might be at an apartment building in the 1100 block on Bernard Avenue in Kelowna where the RCMP emergency response team converged.

“With the safety of the hostage victim, the responding police officers and the general public in mind, the incident prompted the temporary closure of roadways in the immediate area and a temporary hold and secure of nearby businesses,” Kelowna RCMP spokesperson Cpl. Jesse O’Donaghey says in a media release. “The unfolding events concluded with the apprehension of four individuals of interest, including two men and two women and the seizure of a vehicle.”

This morning, police stopped a vehicle near Falkland north of Vernon. The kidnapped woman was found uninjured, and two suspects, a man and a woman were arrested. Police say firearms were seized from the vehicle.

“First and foremost, our concern was for the woman who had been kidnapped,” Kamloops RCMP spokesperson Cpl. Jodi Shelkie says in a release. “The danger that she was in cannot be overemphasized. Officers knew that the suspects were armed. It was unknown what their intent was regarding her life.”

Yesterday, Kamloops RCMP would only say officers were responding to a "dynamic" unfolding situation throughout the city.

“Few details could be released to the media to protect our investigation and ultimately, help get this woman back to safety.”

Staff Sgt. Simon Pillay later said in an interview police are aware that seeing armed police swarming through a neighbourhood is disconcerting for the public, but they assessed all factors in maintaining the information blackout. He said they had information the suspects didn't know they had and releasing information to the public was releasing it to their suspects. 

"We were very confident the public wasn't in danger," he said. "We also knew the public couldn't help us."

They didn't have a vehicle description, for example. 

He said the suspect were involved in the Kamloops drug trade and how they would react with the kidnapped woman if they knew they were being pursued. 

Kamloops RCMP detachment commander Supt. Syd Lecky wouldn't comment on what types of weapons were seized from the suspects but says they were a "concern" for police.

Police also wouldn't comment on the intent of the kidnapping but it is believed the individuals were known to each other.

There was no evidence indicating these events were related to two recent homicides also related to the local drug trade.

— This story was updated at 12:31 p.m. to include additional information from an RCMP press conference.

— This story was updated at 1:48 p.m. to include comments from Staff Sgt. Pillay. 

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