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Maplewood, North St. Paul Police Investigate Armed Kidnappings

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(credit: CBS) Bill Hudson
Bill Hudson has been with WCCO-TV since 1989. The native of Elk Rive...
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MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — Two women are unharmed and alive after narrowly escaping two separate carjackings at gunpoint. In both cases, the women said their attacker was intending to rape them.

The two incidents happened just 30 minutes apart Sunday evening, first in North St. Paul and later in Maplewood.

The first woman describes a few minutes that seemed more like an eternity of terror. It was around 7:30 p.m. when she was leaving the Polar Ice Arena in North St. Paul. The 24-year-old woman had just finished playing a hockey game when she stepped into her car to leave.

That’s when a man, dressed completely in black, jumped into her car’s passenger seat. He pointed a black pistol at her and told her to drive a few blocks away.

According to the woman, “He said, ‘we’re going to go to a parking lot and we’re going to have sex.’ That’s when I broke down and I said, ‘no, no, you’re not going to do that to me.'”

She was able to quickly reach for the door handle and jumped from the parked car. As she ran towards an apartment building, screaming for help, the would-be rapist sped away in her vehicle. It was found late Monday morning, ditched just a block away.

“He told her to turn off the vehicle. However the lights are still on and of course she is very scared and shaken, and she’s having trouble with the lights. That’s her opportunity to get away from this guy, so she opens up the door and runs away,” North St. Paul’s Capt. Dustin Nikituk said.

Thirty minutes later, he’d strike again a few miles away, at the LA Fitness center near the Maplewood mall.

That’s where he forced a 26-year-old woman to drive her car to the back of the nearby Days Inn. The woman told police that her attacker appeared very nervous.

“By all indications, this is a person who will take incredible risks and in an armed manner. We want to get this person identified and into custody as quickly as possible,” Maplewood Police Chief Paul Schnell said.

The second woman was told to go to the nearby Rainbow Foods parking lot instead.

That’s where the woman was able to begin a conversation with the man, convincing him that he’d be caught.

Instead of going through with his rape intentions, the man told her to drop him off at County Road C and White Bear Avenue, where he disappeared.

“The fact he’s still out there preying on girls trying to get into their cars, it’s terrifying,” the first victim said.

Anybody with information is asked to contact Maplewood or North St. Paul police at 651-767-0640 or by texting MAPLEWOOD to the tip line at Tip411 (847411).

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