Winnipeg police issued an emergency alert after a woman with dementia was abducted early Saturday morning in what police described as a “completely random incident”.
Police say 63-year-old Sandra McLaughlin was in the back of a 2012 blue Patriot Jeep parked at a gas station in the 3600 block of Portage Street. While the jeep was parked, police said a man approached and stole it shortly before 2 a.m.
CCTV shows a man approaching the jeep, climbing to the passenger side, and sliding into the driver’s seat. Police say a family member who was driving with Sandra is then seen approaching and trying to stop the robbery, but the jeep gets away.
“It is possible that the person who got in the car did not know that he was in this car,” the gendarmerie said. Jay Murray of the Winnipeg Police Department. “It’s early, she has dementia, so she’s probably still in the back of that car. We just don’t know right now.”
Police say 63-year-old Sandra McLaughlin was in the back seat of a blue 2012 Jeep Patriot that was parked at a gas station in the 3600 block of Portage Street. (provider: Winnipeg Police Service)
Police say the jeep, with a Manitoba license plate KXR 852, was last seen traveling west on Portage Street toward the surrounding highway.
Police said the jeep had a large dent in the driver’s side door and slightly rusted steel edges.
Winnipeg police issued an emergency alert Saturday morning in Winnipeg and southwest Manitoba, asking people to be on the lookout and to call 911 if they see anything. Murray said police hope the public can help provide the information.
“We are asking everyone to keep an eye on this car, keep an eye on Sandra and be aware of the accident.”
Winnipeg police issued an emergency alert shortly after 11 a.m. on June 4, 2022 for Sandra McLaughlin, 63, who was kidnapped early Saturday morning. (Source: CTV News Winnipeg)
Murray said it was unclear whether the car continued west on the Trans-Canada Highway or stopped on the Perimeter Highway.
“This is something we are still trying to prove as the investigation progresses,” Murray said.
Winnipeg Police issued a financial warning to McLaughlin. A silver alert is issued when a vulnerable adult is missing.
He said that while car thefts are fairly common in Winnipeg, it is unusual for someone to be inside the car when it is stolen.
“This is an unusual incident. We have no indication that these parties know each other,” Murray said. “At this point, it appears to be a completely random incident and a crime of opportunity. »
Police are now asking for public help in locating McLaughlin, who suffers from dementia. She is described as being five feet seven tall with a heavier build and long black and white hair. Police said she was wearing a gray jacket.
Murray said the ultimate goal is to get McLaughlin home safely, but police also want information about the vehicle and the suspect.
Police said the suspect was described as six feet tall and black-haired. He was seen wearing a gray jacket, dark shorts, a white lettering hood, sandals and white gloves.
Anyone with information is asked to call 911, the Winnipeg Police Service Missing Persons Unit at 204-986-6250, or the Major Crimes Unit at 204-986-6219.