The same gunman is suspected of getting into two women’s cars and threatening to rape them just 15 minutes apart in the east metro Sunday night, according to police.
Police said the man, described as white and 30 to 40 years old, was reportedly wearing surgical-type gloves, a black ski mask and dark pants in both incidents.
At 7:47 p.m. Sunday, North St. Paul police responded to a report of kidnapping and attempted rape. In a post on the police department’s Facebook page, police said the suspect entered the woman’s car through the passenger-side door while she was leaving North High School Polar Arena. While showing her a handgun, he told the victim he wanted to have sex with her. The suspect demanded the woman drive to a parking lot west of North High School and to turn off the vehicle. The suspect grabbed the woman, but she escaped. Police said the suspect fled the scene in the victim’s vehicle.
About 15 minutes later, and just about 4 miles away, a woman was leaving a fitness center in Maplewood when a man got into the passenger seat of her car and threatened to rape her. The suspect, who had a handgun, ordered the woman to drive to various locations in Maplewood. The victim told police she talked with the man and he eventually asked to be dropped off near County Road C and White Bear Avenue, according to the Star Tribune.
"In spite of the fact that incidents of this nature are very rare, the actions of this armed suspect are obviously dangerous, making his identification and arrest a top priority," Maplewood Police Chief Paul Schnell told FOX 9.
Authorities have not located the car from the North St. Paul incident, according to the Star Tribune. Police said the vehicle is a gray 2007 Hyundai Sonata with Minnesota license plate.
Both the North St. Paul Police Department and the Maplewood Police Department continue to actively investigate this case. Anyone with information is asked to call the Maplewood Police Department at 651-767-0640 or the North St. Paul Police Department at 651-747-2532.