Officers with several Metro Vancouver police agencies participated in a dramatic takedown Friday as they worked to rescue an alleged kidnapping victim.
It has been three days since the victim was reportedly taken in broad daylight from a busy Port Moody street.
Since then, there has been no word on whether the hostage was dead or alive until late Friday afternoon, when the man in his 40s was rescued, Port Moody police have confirmed.
Police said officers from the Vancouver police and Lower Mainland District Integrated Emergency Response Teams were involved in an operation in the Mission area, where they made “multiple” arrests. Sources told Global News that the arrests include a man and woman.
Later Friday, police said five individuals were arrested in connection to the investigation, and officers believe no other suspects are “believed to be outstanding at this time.”
Police are believed to be active at several scenes, including one in Maple Ridge.
A motive in the incident remains unclear, as does whether the kidnapping was related to B.C.’s ongoing gang conflict.
Global News has been investigating the incident for several days, and has learned the alleged victim was snatched around 10 a.m. on Wednesday as they exited Innovative Fitness on Murray Street in Port Moody.
The area, popularly known as “Brewers Row,” was packed with people at the time.
Witnesses told Global news they heard someone screaming for help and rushed outside in time to see someone with their feet hanging out of a van and being punched by two people in masks.
One witness, who asked not to be identified out of concern for their safety, said they tried to pull the victim from the vehicle, but were unable to get them out.
TikTok user Dave Cowieson who was driving by at the time also saw the incident taking place, and posted a description his own efforts to intervene on the social media platform.
“The van started taking off with one of the doors open,” he said in the video.
“I blocked the vehicle from trying to get out into oncoming traffic, I thought everybody could rush him by that time. As soon as I did he drove up on the grass and took off.”
The identity of the victim has not been released.
Port Moody police said they had been unable to share information about the incident until Friday, in order to protect the investigation.
-With files from Rumina Daya