Minnesota authorities are getting help from Clear Lake police in looking for a man they consider a dangerous criminal. A man told police in Clear Lake late last night that he’d been abducted at gunpoint in West St Paul and forced to drive to Cerro Gordo County, where they stopped at a hotel in Clear Lake. West St Paul police chief Terry Cook says they’re looking for 54-year-old Richard Benfield. The chief says the victim was tied to a bed and managed to escape while his kidnapper slept, but after he notified police they arrived to find the suspect had awoken and fled. Chief Cook says Benfield is suspected in at least four armed robberies in the Twin Cities over the last month. Benfield has done more than 20 years in federal prison for bank-robbery and armed robbery convictions as well as kidnapping and assault, and he’s considered extremely dangerous. Officers think Benfield is now traveling on foot or has stolen another car. Benfield is suspected of several recent armed robberies, the latest Monday night at a store in West St. Paul where he allegedly fired shots at a female witness who tried to follow him.
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