Robber allegedly points shotgun at couple visiting Winnipeg, steals their truck
Posted February 11, 2023 11:53 am.
Last Updated February 11, 2023 1:39 pm.
An incident that started with a knock on the window, ended with a robbery at gunpoint.
Mark Barkman, who was visiting Winnipeg, says he’s glad he and his wife are safe after a brazen carjacking in Winnipeg.
And it appears this type of crime is happening more often in the city.
“I was trying help out somebody and it didn’t turn out that way,” said Barkman. “I never thought he’d pull a gun, but he did.”
Making their way home to Garden Hill following a hockey tournament, Barkman says he and his wife were in their truck – a grey Dodge Ram 1500 ST Crew Cab, parked at a hotel at King Edward Street near Wellington Avenue around 12:45 a.m. Monday.
That’s when a man and a woman approached the vehicle, knocked on their window and asked for a cigarette.
The next thing he knew, the man was pointing a sawed-off shotgun at the pair and telling them to get out of the car.
“My thought was, can I grab the gun? Is he bluffing or not? But I said to myself: ‘I better not, just leave it,” said Barkman.
A police news release described the suspect as roughly slim, roughly 25 years old, wearing a long-dark jacket, black pants, and a camouflage neck warmer over his face.
Barkman says the man used the gun to intimidate him and his wife who was reluctant to give over her phone.
“He had a sawed-off shotgun and he cranked it. Pumped it and pointed it at her,” said Barkman.
Barkman says he was shaken up in the 24 hours following the incident, which he says happened in a flash, but him and his wife are now trying to move past it.
They’re not alone in being victimized by a carjacker. Police have seen an increase in the crime in recent years
In 2022, Winnipeg police say there were 148 carjackings, compared to 125 in 2021. They also say there has been an increase of more than 43 per cent over the five-year average of 103.
Police say there are several steps the public can take to protect themselves while driving, including:
- Staying alert at all times and be aware of your surroundings;
- Driving in well-lit areas and on main roads at night;
- Avoiding driving alone, especially at night;
- Keeping all doors locked and windows up when driving.
Police information indicates while carjackings can happen anywhere, they tend to happen in places like less-travelled roads, at intersections that require you to stop and in isolated areas in parking lots.
Barkman says even though the incident was scary, and left them without a truck, he’s happy he wasn’t hurt.
“We’re alive and we’re thankful and I pray and I thank God that we’re still here with our families,” he said.
Police say if members of the public have information about the incident or whereabouts of the vehicle they should call major crimes or Crime Stoppers.
But officers stress if you see the occupants, you should not approach the vehicle as they may be armed, and should call 9-1-1 instead.