By Justin Schmidt, Multimedia Journalist - bio | email
Suspect vehicle photo
OVERLAND PARK, KS (KCTV) -
Authorities in Johnson County are seeking an armed man who has kidnapped one woman and apparently tried to kidnap two other women in highly trafficked areas. A second man is also believed to be involved in the crime spree.
Two Shawnee Mission School District campuses were placed on lockdown because of the crime spree. John Diemer Elementary School and Indian Woods Middle School were placed on lockdown for about an hour starting at 1:30 p.m. This was a precaution, district officials said.
The crime spree began when the man accosted a woman at a Menorah Medical Center parking lot about 10 a.m. Friday. The woman, who had her young child with her, was forced to get into her vehicle with the man and drive to a nearby bank where she withdrew money.
The woman and child were not physically harmed, but were quite upset. The bank was in Leawood while the hospital is in Overland Park.
The second incident happened about noon when he pointed a handgun at a runner. That woman was able to cry for help and the suspect fled.
This occurred in the area of 120th Street and Roe Avenue.
"The victim was confronted by a male who took a black handgun from his pants pocket and ordered the female to turn around and start walking in a different direction," a release from Overland Park police said. "She did turn and start walking in the direction he demanded, but then quickly ran into the street and yelled for help. The suspect then turned and ran away."
In the third case, the man tried to kidnap a woman from shops in the area of 105th and Metcalf Avenue. About 1 p.m. the man pointed a gun at the woman and demanded her purse. He ordered her to get into her vehicle, but she refused. A witness scared off the suspect, who ran to a nearby vehicle.
The woman was in the parking lot when she was accosted. She did turn over her purse.
"The incident caught the attention of a witness who observed the suspect in this incident run from the scene on foot," the Overland Park police news release said.
The suspect jumped into a waiting vehicle, which was last seen at 107th and Barkley streets.
The witness in the third crime snapped a picture of the getaway vehicle.
The suspect is described as Hispanic, about 5'10" tall with a stocky build. He is in his 20s. He is wearing a black tight-fitting shirt, possibly long-sleeved and black baggy shorts. He was wearing sunglasses and a ball cap.
The man in the waiting car was also Hispanic with a stocky build and wearing a white shirt and a baseball cap. The vehicle was a small white sedan with Missouri license plates. One of the victims took a picture of the suspect vehicle.
"I would hope people would realize any day, any time (that) people can be a victim," Overland Park police Officer Michelle Koos said. "Always be alert of your surroundings, don't ever let your guard down."
She said to eliminate distractions when possible.
"We also tell people don't let there be two crime scenes," she said. "Don't go anyplace you are able to keep from going. Make them do any crime they're going to do in that area because there's a reason they want to take you someplace else. There's a reason they don't want to commit that crime in that area."
Anyone with information is asked to call the TIPS Hotline at 816-474-TIPS or Overland Park police at 913-344-8750.
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