The Province

Mounties locate man tied up in back of SUV

- BY CARMEN CHAI STAFF REPORTER

Ridge Meadows RCMP said they had a “lucky catch” when they found a 52-year-old man beaten and bound in the back of an SUV Friday.

Plaincloth­es police officers say they were following a 38-year-old man described as a “high-volume” criminal, not knowing he had a severely beaten victim in the trunk.

The suspect was prohibited from driving, said Ridge Meadows Staff-Sgt. A.J. Bodden. “When they took the opportunit­y to arrest him, low and behold there’s a guy tied up in the back. It’s kind of a surprise when you’re a policeman,” he said.

The driver was arrested near 119th Avenue and 227th Street in Maple Ridge after Mounties followed the SUV for half an hour. Kenneth Marcel Lavallee, 38, faces seven charges, including kidnapping, robbery with violence and driving while prohibited.

Lavallee has conviction­s for robbery, assaulting police officers and possession of drugs in multiple cases leading back to 1999. Lavallee was released from jail in April after serving about nine months

Lora-Lee Sandra Lockhart, 39, Tracy Michele Sellick, 45, and Frank William Chartrand, 34, all of Maple Ridge, also face charges, including kidnapping, forcible confinemen­t and dangerous driving.

Bodden said the victim, whose name has not been released, knew the suspects and was known to police. He said the altercatio­n was drug-related.

“They’re friends of associates. They’re an interestin­g community of criminals,” Bodden said. “I wouldn’t say [the victim] is an angel.”

The victim was rushed to Ridge Meadows Hospital to treat facial injuries and fractured ribs. He had also been beaten with a beer bottle.

“He took a pretty good thump. It’s going to take him a while to get moving again,” Bodden said.

Bodden said police believe the victim was targeted for money in an extortion bid. “It wasn’t a fortune but some of these guys will do an awful lot of violence for a little bit of gain.”

He said police didn’t know where the victim was being taken. “It’s one of the mysteries we’ve never been able to figure out. What were they going to do to him?”

The four accused appeared in court Monday in Port Coquitlam. Sellick was released, while the three others remain in custody.

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