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Moorhead police arrest man accused of kidnapping, robbing woman at gunpoint

If convicted, Sharmake Abdullahi face up to 20 years in prison.

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Sharmake Abdullahi

MOORHEAD — A man accused of kidnapping a woman in Fargo before forcing her at gunpoint to drive to a Moorhead bank and robbing her has been arrested.

Sharmake Mohamed Abdullahi, 30, of Moorhead appeared Monday, Nov. 15, in Clay County District Court on felony charges of kidnapping, first-degree aggravated robbery, theft and threats of violence. Judge Michelle Lawson set his bond at $500,000.

He remained in custody at the Clay County Jail as of Monday afternoon.

Moorhead police alleged Abdullahi kidnapped a woman while she was pulled over before noon Oct. 19 on University Drive in Fargo, according to a criminal complaint.

Abdullahi knocked on the window of the woman’s vehicle, and when she rolled it down he pointed a handgun at her, the complaint said. She then complied with orders to unlock her car door so Abdullahi could get in.

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The defendant then allegedly told her to drive to Gate City Bank in Moorhead and demanded she withdraw money from the ATM, the complaint said. The woman couldn’t get money out of the machine, so Abdullahi told her to drive away.

The woman pulled over and told Abdullahi, “You can kill me here,” but he said he didn’t want to shoot her. After taking her iPhone, Abdullahi said he would find and kill the woman if she went to police, according to the complaint. He then fled, and the woman called police.

Abdullahi was spotted Wednesday night in Moorhead while an investigator was following up on an unrelated incident, Moorhead Police Capt. Deric Swenson said. Abdullahi initially fled on foot but was arrested shortly afterward, Swenson said.

If convicted, Abdullahi could face up to 20 years in prison.

He also appeared Monday on domestic violence charges. In Fargo, he faces several open cases, including one alleging he took a vehicle without permission.

Police have said kidnappings like the one Abdullahi allegedly carried out are rare in the Fargo-Moorhead area.

Mara Rausch, who was appointed Abdullahi's attorney in Clay County, was unavailable for comment Monday afternoon.

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