Alta. Auctioneer Escapes, Thwarting Abductor’s Bid for $300,000

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Blair Vold, owner of Vold, Jones, and Vold Auction Co., in Ponoka, Alta., managed to escape after being abducted and held for ransom Thursday.

At around 9 a.m. on Thursday, the 55-year-old owner of Ponoka’s Vold, Jones, and Vold Auction Co., headed out from his home near Morningside, 100 kilometres southwest of Edmonton.

But when Vold approached a bend in his private driveway less than a half-kilometre from his house, he saw a tree lying across the road along with a string of barb wire.

Thinking it was a prank, Vold stepped out of his truck to remove the wire and tree.

“A guy comes out of the woods with a handgun drawn, both hands on it,” Vold said. “He tells me to freeze and get on the ground.”

The man was slender, about six feet tall, and wore a hood, a mask around his nose and mouth and glasses. Vold’s hands were tied around his waist and a black hood was draped over his head. The suspect threw him into the back of Vold’s pickup and told him to lay on the floor.

They drove a short distance to where the abductor had stashed his own truck, a clean silver mid-2000s four-door Chevrolet pickup. Vold said it was clean and didn’t smell of cigarette smoke.

He transferred Vold to the vehicle and then drove 10 or 15 minutes into the country before stopping and demanding $300,000 in cash.

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