Five people were arrested in three simultaneous takedowns in Vancouver and Burnaby Thursday morning to rescue an 18-year-old student who was kidnapped three days earlier.

 

The victim was taken from his West End home on Sunday while kidnappers called his parents — who live in China — to demand what police say was a “very large ransom.”

 

It’s unclear why the victim, whose name has not been released, was targeted.

 

Vancouver Police Chief Deputy Doug LePard said investigators were working around the clock to find the teenager.

“As soon as we were notified we initiated an extensive and complex investigation that included wiretaps and round-the-clock surveillance,” LePard said.

“While the events were unfolding, we identified several residences and suspects and placed them under surveillance.”

At 7:45 Thursday morning, police stopped vehicles at Fraser Street and Kingsway, Main Street and Marine Drive, and Kingsway near Metrotown, arresting five suspects and rescuing the victim, who was physically unharmed.

Police used flash-bang grenades during the rescue, which residents thought were gunshots.

“It was an unbelievable investigation under very trying circumstances,” LePard said.