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Kidnapper hid in woman’s car for hours as she dropped child at school, Oregon cops say

A man hid in a woman’s car “for hours” on Tuesday morning in Banks, Oregon, then revealed himself and tried to keep the woman from escaping, according to local authorities.

The woman told deputies that she knew the accused kidnapper and that he “didn’t make himself known to her until after she dropped her child off at school,” the Washington County Sheriff’s Office said in a news release on Tuesday.

Deputies said “the woman tried to escape, but the man forced her back inside the vehicle and would not let her leave. He eventually left and she was unhurt.”

Deputies identified the suspect as Lawrence Alan Roland, 43, of Hillsboro. He’s charged with first-degree kidnapping and menacing, according to the Sheriff’s Office. Authorities didn’t specify how he knew the victim.

Roland was found around 4 p.m. on Tuesday as he returned to his vehicle, which “was parked near the victim’s vehicle,” the Sheriff’s Office said.

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Deputies said they responded around 7 a.m. to “reports of a man trying to force a woman inside a vehicle near the intersection of NW Highway 47 & NW Wilson River Highway.” KOIN reported that “a passing truck driver saw the struggle and called for help.”

The woman told authorities the man ran away on foot, but a search of the immediate area didn’t lead to the suspect, according to the Sheriff’s Office.

Schools in Banks, about 25 miles west of Portland, were put on “lockout status” amid the search, deputies said.

The school lockout was lifted shortly after 9 a.m., according to KPTV.

“I came to drop my son off at school and when I got here, I noticed teachers were stopping our cars and telling us to turn around,” said parent Melissa Vandecoevering, according to the TV station. “I took my kid over to get a hot chocolate at the local coffee shop and looked on Facebook and the school (did) a good job of letting us know our kids were all safe.”

Roland is still in custody on Wednesday, the Oregonian reported.

He is being held on $50,000 bail, Washington County jail records said.

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Jared Gilmour is a McClatchy national reporter based in San Francisco. He covers everything from health and science to politics and crime. He studied journalism at Northwestern University and grew up in North Dakota.
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