Suspect in Merriam attempted kidnapping arrested

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OLATHE, Kan. -- Police are crediting the public with helping catch a man they say tried to kidnap a woman from a Merriam business on Monday. Less than 24-hours-after the attempt, police had their suspect in custody.

In this case, the police provided FOX 4 News with a picture of the suspect and the tips came rolling in.

"It was actually through the use of social media, through the news broadcasts that got us tips on who the suspect was," Corporal James Browning with the Merriam Police Department said

With that information, police tracked the suspect down to a house on South Chestnut in Olathe.

"He met the detectives at the door and surrendered himself," Cpl. Browning said.

Surveillance pictures revealed the 24-year-old man, who police say they arrested, for walking into IBT Inc. on Monday to kidnap a woman who works there. They say he pushed the surveillance camera in the lobby to the side, and told her twice that she was coming with him.

Although he did not show any weapons nor did he touch her, Cpl. Browning said his actions are still criminal.

"It is all the overt acts before it as well, and one of those being moving the camera out of view, so not being able to see what was going on, there was intent there," he said.

Former neighbors were shocked by the allegations against the man.

"I was surprised to hear it was him," Jo Shawhan said, after she saw the story on the news on Monday night.

Shawhan lives across the street from a home the suspect's family used to live and still owns

"I didn't expect something like that," she said.

Nor did former next door neighbor Kelli Schlagle, who said her children used to talk to the suspect a lot when he would work on his car.

"It's pretty weird because he was a nice guy. He was never like that around me," she said.

The suspect’s mother told FOX 4's Shannon O'Brien that her son suffers from bi-polar disorder and is off his medications. She says her son has a lot of burdens on him right now, and she has given the situation up to God, and that’s all she can do.

The suspect is expected to be formally charged with attempted kidnapping on Wednesday, FOX 4 will not name him until he’s charged.

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