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Woman hides in hollowed-out loveseat during raid; pair accused of mailbox thefts caught

A female suspect managed to hide in the back of a couch before being spotted, said police. Blogspot.com

A Winnipeg woman had a ringside seat to a police raid in Oakbank, but it turns out she was no couch potato.

Winnipeg police said they and a team from the Oakbank RCMP raided a home on Fiorentino Street in Winnipeg Thursday night, looking for two people accused of being involved in mailbox thefts in the RMs of Springfield and St. Clements, as well as in East St. Paul and Selkirk.

READ MORE: RCMP looking for pair charged with fraud in connection with mail thefts

Inside the home, officers initially spotted a sawed-off shotgun “wrapped in Hells Angels support clothing,” they said.

But then they found a woman hiding from them — inside the hollowed-out back of a loveseat. They later found a male, said police, who was taken into custody.

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Brady Laverdure, (left) and Ryan Fortescue (right) were arrested and released on mail fraud June 29 but failed to appear in court.
Brady Laverdure, (left) and Ryan Fortescue (right) were arrested and released on mail fraud June 29 but failed to appear in court. RCMP handout

Brady Elizabeth Kara Laverdure, 29, and Ryan Donald Fortescue, 44, both of Winnipeg, have been charged with numerous weapons offences and for failing to show up for court.

The pair were arrested earlier this year on June 29 in connection with more than 200 complaints about mail being stolen from rural mailboxes. They were charged with possession of stolen property and forgery. They were also charged with fraud after police learned the two were receiving Employment  and Income Assistance using false addresses.

READ MORE: Manitoba man charged in mail thefts worked as paramedic

They were released on a promise to appear following their arrest, but police said they didn’t show up for court.

This time, were detained in custody.

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Fortescue was working for the Interlake-Eastern Regional Health Authority when he was charged on June 29.

READ MORE: RCMP looking for pair charged with fraud in connection with mail thefts

About two and a half weeks after being charged, he was put on unpaid leave from work. The health authority’s spokesperson said the organization “moved to place him on unpaid leave once we became aware there were charges placed against him” on July 17, 2018.

During the time when he was allegedly stealing from mailboxes, he was working as a paramedic and seemingly responding to emergency medical calls in homes.

WATCH: Rural Manitoba community continues to get hit with mailbox thefts

Click to play video: 'Rural Manitoba community continues to get hit with mailbox thefts' Rural Manitoba community continues to get hit with mailbox thefts
Rural Manitoba community continues to get hit with mailbox thefts – Jul 16, 2018

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