- Associated Press - Thursday, April 3, 2014

SPOKANE, Wash. (AP) - Police say a stranger removed a 2-year-old boy from his parents’ home in Spokane and took him to his apartment in Airway Heights and then to a convenience store where a suspicious clerk called police.

Officers arrested 55-year-old Richard L. Welch Wednesday morning for investigation of kidnapping.

The boy was checked at a hospital and then returned to his parents who had reported him missing about 5:20 a.m. They did not know Welch.

Welch told police he thought the boy was a 7-year-old girl he says he found wandering and offered to help return home. He says he left the child with the store clerk.

Police say they’ve had numerous contacts with Welch who has convictions that include domestic violence assault, criminal impersonation and indecent exposure.

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