'Unique' black van sought in Ontario armed kidnapping case
Police say they are “very concerned” for the safety of a Chinese man who was the victim of an alleged armed kidnapping in Markham, Ont.
“We need to find him as soon as possible,” York regional police Const. Andy Pattenden told reporters Sunday morning.
Wanzhen Lu, 22, was allegedly kidnapped shortly before 6 p.m. while in the underground parking garage of his condo building.
Pattenden said security footage from inside the garage had helped police piece together what happened in the moments after Lu, who also went by the name Peter, drove into the garage with a female friend and they exited their vehicle.
He said a black Dodge Caravan pulled up behind Lu and his friend. Three men emerged from the Caravan, one of whom attacked Lu with a stun gun. The three men then allegedly dragged Lu into the van as he resisted, and drove off.
Lu’s friend was not injured and was “traumatized” but “very helpful” in providing information to investigators, Pattenden said.
Police have released a photo of Lu in the black sweater and jeans he was wearing at the time of the alleged abduction as well as the black Caravan in question. They say the van is wheelchair-accessible, with unique markings and stickers on its exterior, and had a stolen Ontario licence plate reading CEAR 350 attached to its rear.
The male driver of the van was seen wearing a green and yellow jacket. Police have more specific descriptions of the other three suspects, all of whom are also men. One is said to be dark-skinned and 6’2” with a heavier build, wearing dark blue jeans and a black jacket. A second is described as being 6’1” and wearing a Canada Goose jacket, while the third was seen in a mask, a dark jacket and blue pants. The kidnappers have not yet made contact with investigators.
Pattenden said it was unclear why the men had targeted Lu, who he identified as a Chinese national living in Markham and studying in Toronto.
“He was taken 100 per cent against his will,” he said.
Police said that Lu drove expensive luxury cars, including a Lamborghini and a Rolls Royce.
Neighbours told CTV Toronto that they are concerned about how the kidnappers entered the building’s parking garage, which requires a fob for entry.
Investigators have made contact with members of Lu’s family in China who are on their way to Toronto.
Anyone who sees the black Caravan is being urged to contact police immediately.