2 go on armed crime spree in Winnipeg, carjack repairman

A repairman working on a telephone line in Winnipeg was held up at gunpoint and carjacked on Wednesday — one of several crimes allegedly carried out by a man and a teenage boy.

Pair also accused of pointing gun at another driver, robbing boy of backpack

A carjacking was one of a number of armed robberies committed by a man and a teen on Wednesday in Winnipeg, police say. (Trevor Brine/CBC)

A repairman working on a telephone line in Winnipeg was held up at gunpoint and carjacked on Wednesday — one of several crimes allegedly carried out by a man and a teenage boy.

He was in an alley not far from the Health Sciences Centre when two people came up behind him, pointed a gun and stole his wallet, cellphone and vehicle keys, according to Jarrett Bishop, chief operating officer of IDC Communications, which contracted the man to do the work.

Police say the incident happened around 7 p.m. CT on Ross Avenue, just off Sherbrook Street. The man went into one of the nearby homes to call police, Bishop said, adding that counselling will be provided to him.

"We've done, over the past number of years, hundreds of thousands of these types of work calls across the city and have never run into anything like this. It's definitely taken us by surprise," Bishop said.

A half-hour after the vehicle was taken, officers spotted it driving near Selkirk Avenue and McGregor Street, in the city's North End. They stopped it and arrested a 23-year-old man and 15-year-old boy, also seizing a replica handgun.

According to police, the two were also allegedly involved in a number of other crimes earlier the same evening.

They pointed a gun at a driver around Notre Dame Avenue and Toronto Street before robbing a 14-year-old boy of his backpack and other belongings at gunpoint on Winnipeg Avenue, police said.

Shortly after the carjacking, the stolen vehicle was involved in a hit-and-run at Isabel Street and Ross, police said.

No one was injured in any of the incidents.

The man and boy are both charged with armed robbery and a number of other offences.

Bishop said IDC will revisit with contractors and staff about how to address these types of situations.

"There's not much we can do to avoid something like this from taking place to begin with, but we need to make sure they are very well positioned to handle themselves when it does," he said. "And by that I mean doing what they're told, giving up their stuff and not trying to struggle or fight back."

He doesn't know what, if anything, was taken from the vehicle which is still in the police's possession.