North Okanagan car thief didn't realize who he was attempting to steal from | iNFOnews | Thompson-Okanagan's News Source

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North Okanagan car thief didn't realize who he was attempting to steal from

August 01, 2017 - 4:41 PM

NORTH OKANAGAN - A thief picked the wrong car to target while fleeing police yesterday in the North Okanagan — that of a retired Mountie.

On Monday, July 31, around 8 a.m. RCMP in Lumby received a report that a grey 2003 Ford F250 pick-up had been stolen sometime overnight. At 10:30 a.m., a second report was received stating the stolen truck had been located and was being followed by a witness on Highway 97, Cpl. Dan Moskaluk says in the release.

Officers were advised that the stolen truck had pulled over and was stopped near the off-ramp at Highway 97 and Highway 97A.

“RCMP officers attended the location and boxed the truck in with two marked police vehicles in efforts to stop it from driving away. At that moment the driver pushed the lead police car out of the way and fled northwest,” Moskaluk says.

The other officer made an attempt to stop the stolen truck but quickly noted the driver was not going to stop and discontinued his attempts to stop it, Moskaluk says.

The officer eventually lost sight of the suspect, however an unmarked police dog service vehicle in the area picked up the trail.

“The officer followed the suspect who appeared to be unaware that it was a police vehicle following him,” Moskaluk says.

The stolen truck was followed from a distance and observed to be driving normally at highway speeds. No attempts were made to stop it and the officer lost view of the vehicle as it merged onto Highway 97A.

“As the police service dog member merged onto the highway, he located a collision scene just ahead which involved the stolen truck. The suspect from the stolen truck was found to have exited the truck and was attempting to steal a vehicle that had stopped at the scene. The male driver of this second vehicle, who was a retired RCMP member, was able to subdue the suspect until the police service officer arrived and arrested the male,” Moskaluk says.

The 26-year-old suspect was taken into custody. Witnesses said he attempted to make a U-turn across four lanes of the highway and collided with the other motorist. The passenger of the civilian vehicle involved in the collision suffered minor injuries as did the suspect, who was treated in hospital. He remains in police custody and was due in court Aug. 1.

To contact a reporter for this story, email Charlotte Helston or call 250-309-5230 or email the editor. You can also submit photos, videos or news tips to the newsroom and be entered to win a monthly prize draw.

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