Dauphin County man convicted of kidnapping two women while fleeing scene of retail theft

DAUPHIN COUNTY — A Dauphin County man was convicted of all charges stemming from a September 2016 incident in which he stole several items from a Walmart and abducted two women while fleeing from the store’s loss prevention officer.

A Dauphin County jury found Michael Ortiz guilty of kidnapping, robbery, unlawful restraint, terroristic threats and retail theft, according to the Dauphin County District Attorney’s Office.

The incident occurred on Sept. 30, 2016. According to evidence presented at trial, Ortiz loaded a shopping cart with several items, concealing them in plastic bags he had brought, and exited by pushing the cart through an unattended checkout aisle.

As he was about to leave the store, Ortiz was confronted by a loss prevention officer, who had been watching him over the store’s surveillance system. Ortiz left the cart and ran. As he fled across the parking lot, Ortiz spotted a car with two women inside. The women had just finished loading their purchases into the car.

Ortiz jumped in the car’s back seat and ordered the women to drive him away, pretending that he had a gun and threatening to kill them if they did not comply.

When the car stopped at a red light, the woman in the passenger seat removed a legally concealed handgun, pointed it Ortiz, and ordered him out of the car. Ortiz grabbed the weapon and attempted to get it away from the woman, but she overpowered him and fired a shot to let him know the gun was real.

Ortiz then fled. He turned himself in to police a day later.

Ortiz is scheduled to be sentenced on February 2, 2018.