MOSCOW, August 26 (RIA Novosti) – Latvian police have issued an international arrest warrant for an armed robbery suspect who stole a police car while being detained and was last seen heading toward the Russian border, local media said Monday.
“Police do not rule out that [the suspect Ralfs] Tokaho crossed the Latvian-Russian border,” Latvia’s Mixnews.lv reported, citing Anastasija Laizane, a spokeswoman for the state police in the eastern Latgale region.
“Police are investigating several possible locations of the suspect,” Laizane said.
Police believe that Tokaho entered an auto repair shop in the town of Rezekne with a sawed-off shotgun on Friday, tied up the shop's employees and stole an Audi Q7.
On Saturday, police spotted the vehicle speeding through the city's streets. A car chase followed, in which Tokaho eventually crashed the Audi and opened fire at police who tried to detain him. Taking advantage of the confusion, he fled the scene in the police vehicle.
Police fired shots at the wheels and windows, but he drove off into the forest, in the general direction of the Russian border, about 63 kilometers to the east.
The stolen police car was discovered some time later, but Tokaho managed to escape. Additional patrols have been diverted to the region and a helicopter search was ordered.
Tokaho, born in 1965, has a criminal record of several robberies. He was released from prison this spring after serving a 6 1/2 -year term.