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Man abducted and extorted mum for MacBooks

Written by on May 17, 2024

A mother has described the horrifying moments a man armed with a knife demanded that she drive him to shops while her baby was in the car.

The frightening incident where a mother, known as Kieran, and her baby daughter were abducted and extorted for new MacBooks happened across the Melbourne suburbs of Rowville and Dandenong on Friday, May 10.

Police are still searching for a man who looks “Asian in appearance”, aged between 20 and 35.

About 6pm at the Stud Park Shopping Centre car park in Rowville the man came up to Kieran as she got out of her silver Suzuki S Cross and demanded he drove her.

The man threatened her with a knife and forced her back into the driver’s seat.

“I was just getting my daughter out of her car seat and he just came up out of nowhere behind me with a knife,” Kieran told reporters on Friday

“He just said ‘get in your car and drive’.

“I just remember begging like ‘I’ve got a daughter, you can have my car, you can have my wallet, you can have my phone, take everything, just leave me with my daughter’.

“He kept demanding, ‘I don’t want your car, I don’t want your wallet, I don’t want your phone, just get in the car and drive’.”

Kieran was forced to drive to electrical stores on the South Gippsland Highway, Cranbourne and Frankston-Dandenong Rd, Dandenong, where the armed man demanded she buy Apple MacBooks at several stores.

However, during the traumatic journey Kieran and the man swapped seats.

“I was very nervous and I’m already quite a nervous driver,” she said.

“We started driving and he said go to Lynbrook and I said I don’t know that where that is.

“He said, ‘I’ll tell you, just go’ and to ‘stop crying and breathe’ but I couldn’t.

“I wasn’t the best driver at that moment and we just kept driving and I felt really sick. My daughter kept crying in the back seat.

“All I can remember hearing was my daughter crying. He was trying to get her to calm down and I was trying to get her to calm down.

“We were both crying and he said ‘stop crying’ and I ended up feeling really sick, so we ended up pulling over so I could throw up.”

The man then got in the driver’s seat and he drove to Robert Booth Reserve in Dandenong.

Kieran was able to calm her daughter as she sat in the back seat while the man drove to the store.

When they arrived, he demanded she go inside to purchase the items he wanted.

“We went to the first place and he told me what he wanted and I asked him if I can take my daughter, but thinking back it’s a bad robbery if he let me take my daughter with me,” Kieran said.

“He kept my daughter in the car and he promised he wouldn’t drive away with her or anything.

“I went into the stores there at the first place and I came back and we went to another set of stores.”

Kieran said during their journey, her husband had been able to track her after he was alerted that her phone had been in a car crash.

“The guy threw my phone and keys out the windows. My poor husband got a notification on his phone that I was in a crash, so he thought the worst,” she said.

“We weren’t in a crash obviously; my phone had just been thrown out the window.

“My husband caught up to us, I knew he knew something was wrong, then my dad started calling, so I knew he’d contacted my family looking for me,” she said.

“My husband caught up with us at the second lot of stores and tried to confront us and I just remember yelling at my husband that he has a knife and I just didn’t want him to get hurt.”

Kieran said her husband tried to save their daughter but the back door was locked.

The man then drove off with Kieran and her daughter still in the car.

“We pulled over into a park and he said ‘that’s it, you can take your daughter home’, and I started driving and realised I could pull over for help, so I pulled over to a strip of shops and asked for help,” she said.

The man fled north carrying four MacBooks about 8pm.

Kieran and her baby were not physically injured.

The man was carrying a shopping bag with two of the computers inside, and two more were in boxes under his left arm.

He was wearing a grey hoodie, with the hood over his head, a green fluoro vest over the top of the hoodie and black and grey pants with black running shoes.

Anyone with information can contact Crime Stoppers or make a confidential report.

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