The Winnipeg Police Service is looking for information regarding men in white SUVs allegedly dragging women into vehicles.
In a two-hour span, there were at least three incidences of women being pulled into vehicles and/or assaulted on Saturday.
"I think it’s important to note that all three investigations are still in relatively initial stages. While there is a stark similarity in the circumstances and general description of the vehicle, we have not (yet) definitively linked the three incidents. There are also particular challenges – a victim we haven’t identified yet and an uncooperative victim," Public Information Officer Constable Jay Shaw says.
The first of the three occurred at around 10 p.m. A person nearby heard a woman screaming, looked, and saw her being dragged into a vehicle near the 100 block of Clarke Street. The person called 911 and said two men were forcing the woman into a mid-size white Land Rover-style SUV. They described the driver as a white or Middle Eastern male with a short stalky build and was wearing a toque and the passenger as a Black man approximately 25-year-old and 6'3 tall. They say the second passenger may have been wearing a khaki-coloured jacket and has a thin build.
The second reported incident, approximately one and a half hours later, occurred near the area of Portage Avenue and Arlington Street. The woman, in her 40s, was walking and pulled into a vehicle and assaulted by who she describes as two east Indian men and an Indigenous man. She escaped the vehicle, which she describes as a white Dodge Journey SUV, and has minor injuries.
The third reported incident occurred shortly afterwards near the area of Alexander Avenue and Gunnell Street, At around 11:51 p.m., a caller told 911 that two men were assaulting a woman. The men then fled in a vehicle that was described as a white Dodge Journey or a Jeep Cherokee.
Police say the woman told officers when they arrived she was assaulted by a family member ad did not want police help. The victim was then transported to the hospital.
"We felt it was important to disclose the matters early so that the public can be informed and take appropriate steps to protect themselves if they feel the need. In addition to general safety tips, we also always encourage individuals to walk in pairs or more during overnight hours if possible."
Major Crimes is investigating all three incidents, attempting to see if they are related. They are asking anyone with information to call 204-986-6219 or Crime Stoppers at 204-786-TIPS (8477).