Vernon Mounties deploy spike belt, stop stolen vehicle - InfoNews

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Vernon Mounties deploy spike belt, stop stolen vehicle

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May 04, 2020 - 8:04 AM

An alleged car thief that caused chaos across the North Okanagan was caught Saturday morning when Vernon Mounties rolled out a spike belt, seemingly miraculously causing no injury to anyone along the way.

A prolonged pursuit of a 27-year-old Salmon Arm man who is now in custody began at around 8:45 p.m. on Friday, May 1, when frontline officers were advised to be on the lookout for a white SUV that had been stolen from a neighbouring jurisdiction, Cpl. Tania Finn said in a press release.

"A short time later, a vehicle of a similar description was involved in thefts from vehicles in the Enderby area," Finn said, in the release.

While police were conducting an investigation, a report was received at 1 a.m. of a near head-on collision in Coldstream with a vehicle of a similar description.

"Police conducted numerous patrols but were unable to locate the vehicle which had taken off at a high rate of speed," Finn said.

At 2:30 a.m., frontline officers responded to an attempted break and enter at a business in the 3100 block of 29 Avenue in Vernon where a white SUV had been seen leaving the scene.

"Twenty minutes later, a frontline officer patrolling for the vehicle located it on Highway 97 north of Vernon," Finn wrote.

The vehicle refused to stop for police and continued northbound on Highway 97A.

"Our frontline officers working in the North Rural area were alerted the vehicle was heading their way and encountered the SUV near Armstrong," said Finn, Media Relations Officer for the Vernon North Okanagan RCMP.

"As our officer set up the spike belt, a flare gun was discharged at the officer and the suspect managed to flee. Fortunately, the flare did not strike our officer."

As the vehicle continued north, the driver was unable to navigate a corner and frontline officers located it in a field nearby.

When police approached, the vehicle fled and a second spike belt was successfully deployed.

"With the vehicle disabled, the driver was quickly arrested without further incidents," she said.

The Salmon Arm man is in custody and is charged with numerous offences including theft over $5,000, mischief, break and enter, possession of stolen property over $5,000, flight from police, dangerous operation of a motor vehicle, possession of a weapon for a dangerous purpose and assaulting a police officer.
"There are no reports of any injuries to the public, the officers or the suspect as a result of this incident," Finn said.


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