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article imageMan in British Columbia Amber Alert arrested in Montana

By Arthur Weinreb     Nov 18, 2012 in Crime
Whitefish - Robert Barnett, who allegedly kidnapped his son in Fernie, B.C. on Thursday, was arrested in Whitefish, Montana the next day. His three-year-old son Alvin has been returned to his family in British Columbia.
As Digital Journal reported, Robert Barnett was in a Fernie hotel room on Thursday afternoon having supervised access to son Alvin. Father and son left the room and did not return. Police were called and an Amber Alert was issued.
Surveillance video showed the Barnetts crossing the border into Montana at Eureka. The Amber Alert was extended to Montana and other western states.
Barnett was arrested Friday morning. Alvin was found sleeping in the car and taken into care by child protection workers. He has since been returned to his family in British Columbia.
On the day of the alleged abduction, Barnett approached a Whitefish resident at a bowling alley and asked for some money to return to Canada and to use the man's cellphone. The man offered to buy him breakfast the next morning and told him he should park his car down the street from his home rather than in the bowling alley parking lot.
Barnett did park down the street from his new acquaintance's home. When the man got up the next morning, he saw the Amber Alert and called police. Barnett, who was in the car, was arrested without incident. Alvin was found sleeping in the vehicle. RCMP spokesman, Dan Moskaluk, is quoted in the Vancouver Sun as saying, "It is our understanding that he [Alvin] is unharmed. Aside from being tired and hungry, he was found in good condition."
Barnett is facing charges in British Columbia for parental abduction and two counts of theft over $5,000. One of the theft charges involves the car he and Alvin travelled in.
The Vancouver Sun reports Barnett has dual Canadian-American citizenship and has a criminal record. He told authorities he does not want to return to Canada.
Officials on both sides of the border were pleased with the effectiveness of the Amber Alerts. Moskaluk said, " This is an example of how effective the Amber Alert can be. Within an hour of the call we had possible sightings and last known location."
CTV News reports Steve Bullock, Montana's Attorney General, issued a statement that read, "Thanks to the information that was broadcast by the Montana Department of Justice last night and an alert Whitefish resident, the suspect is now in custody and the abducted child is now safe."
Barnett remains in custody pending extradition proceedings.
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