Kidnapped at gunpoint

A large-scale police action at an apartment building on Bernard Avenue in Kelowna Thursday afternoon was tied to events that began earlier in the day in Kamloops.

Events began unfolding Thursday morning when two armed men robbed two men and a woman in Kamloops. Police suspect the woman was then kidnapped and the suspects may have fled to a home on Dallas Drive.

That home had been ransacked and was empty.

Police were then led to the apartment on Bernard Avenue.

RCMP from Kamloops and Kelowna, as well as the Emergency Response Team, descended on the apartment.

“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,”said Cpl. Jesse O’Donaghey.

“The unfolding events concluded with the apprehension of four individuals of interest, including two men and two women and the seizure of a vehicle.”

Kamloops RCMP confirm one of those arrested was one of the robbery suspects, however, the kidnap victim was not found in the apartment.

Early Friday morning, police determined the woman could be in a vehicle travelling from Kelowna back to Kamloops.

That vehicle was stopped near Falkland. The kidnapped woman was found uninjured, while two occupants of the vehicle, a man and woman, were arrested.

Kamloops RCMP Cpl. Jodi Shelkie said what may have been perceived as a lack of communication was a measured, operational strategy.

“First and foremost, our concern was for the woman who had been kidnapped,” said Shelkie.  

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

The investigation is still ongoing and police are working to identify and locate the second suspect involved in the robbery.  It is clear this was a targeted crime and involved participants in the local Kamloops drug trade.

Numerous charges are expected.

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