By Crystal Rhyno and Paul Cowley
Red Deer Advocate staff
A prominent Ponoka businessman was kidnapped at gunpoint outside his Morningside-area home Sept. 13 in what police are calling a targeted abduction.
Blair Vold, 55, an owner of Vold, Jones and Vold Auction Co. Ltd., was forced into a vehicle and driven to Lacombe where his kidnapper tried to get money from Vold’s bank account.
The hostage escaped while the kidnapper was attempting to withdraw cash from the ATM, Ponoka RCMP explained. Vold ran into a gas station and called the Lacombe Police Service. At the same time, the suspect fled from the bank in a newer, silver four-door Chevrolet pickup truck.
Ralph Vold said that around 9 a.m. his son called the Vold, Jones and Vold office, speaking in a low tone.
“He wanted a bunch of cash and it sounded funny,” said Vold. “It was my son on the phone talking to the head secretary saying he wanted this cash. He said he had a land deal going on. This guy who had him was just holding him up at that time.”
Ralph Vold said his son wanted $30,000 in cash.
“We got the money and waited and the next thing we hear of this was what was going on,” said Ralph Vold.
A stream of family members and friends arrived at Blair Vold’s country home throughout Sept. 15. Police tape was up on the road leading to the house. Late that morning police also strung police tape across an overgrown path into a treed area where a white Cadillac Escalade was barely visible through the brush. RCMP were not letting anyone near the home.
Even two of Vold’s sisters were turned away after being assured their brother was OK.
One sister said they were still in the dark about what had happened. “I don’t know anything about it yet. We just came from the golf course to see if he was OK,” she said before leaving with another sister.
“He’s fine as far as we know,” Ralph Vold said that morning. “I think they are still working on it down there where it all happened. I don’t know what the whole story is yet. We just don’t know.”
Edmonton RCMP K Division believes this was not a random incident and Vold was a target. They said the suspect tried to conceal his face while he had contact with the victim.
An employee at the Mohawk gas station in Lacombe said that around 10:15 a.m., a man rushed into the station and shouted for someone to call 9-1-1.
The employee, who did not want to be identified, told the Advocate that the man looked panicky and out of sorts. The man told the gas station employee he was driving from home when he came across a log on the road. When he stopped, a man with a gun put him into his truck and drove him into Lacombe.
The gas station employee believed the men had driven to the ATB Financial branch at 4720 51st Avenue in Lacombe, where the suspect attempted to use the man’s bank cards to withdraw money out of the bank machine. The employee said that’s when the victim escaped to the gas station.
Ponoka RCMP, Calgary RCMP General Investigative Section and the Lacombe Police Service continue to investigate. Anyone with information is asked to call Ponoka RCMP at 403-783-4472 or Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477.
The suspect is described as approximately six feet tall (1.82 metres), slender build with a white moustache and goatee.