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SPOKANE (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.

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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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