Submitted by Sgt. G.D.SIMPSON
On Dec. 12, at roughly 2:06 p.m., McBride RCMP members tried to stop a white Ford truck with Alberta plates, towing a jet boat along Highway 16 east near McBride.
The truck drove away at high speeds, failing to stop for police and McBride RCMP fully disengaged while the truck continued south along Highway 16. Valemount RCMP tried to assist by setting up a roadblock near the junction of Highway 16 and Highway 5; however, the roadblock wasn’t in place in time and the vehicle exited onto Highway 5 toward the Clearwater area.
Another vehicle stop was attempted near Valemount, but the vehicle failed to stop and increased speed. Police fully disengaged yet again and the vehicle departed south on Highway 5 toward Clearwater.
Some time near 2:56 p.m. the boat was found detached from the truck and left dumped in the middle of Highway 5, just south of Valemount; the boat was recovered by Valemount RCMP members.
The suspect truck continued southbound toward Clearwater.
It was determined the truck had been stolen from Calgary, Alta. while the recovered jet boat was stolen from Grand Prairie. Central Interior Traffic Services, RCMP Air Services, Kamloops and Prince George K-9 units, as well as Clearwater RCMP, patrolled Highway 5 northeast of Clearwater.
A short time later the suspect truck was spotted by a traffic member heading south on Highway 5 past Blue River. Clearwater RCMP laid down a spike belt, successfully disabling the suspect vehicle; the stolen truck began to slow down, driving on its rims.
It eventually stopped on Highway 5 at Hoirup Rd. North in the Vavenby area and the two suspect occupants bailed out, fleeing on foot. A perimeter was set up and several K-9 units converged, tracking the suspects. Highway 5 was closed for a short period during this time, but was eventually reopened.
At 6 p.m. one of the suspects, a 29 year-old man from Prince George, was arrested and taken to cells.
A total of three K-9 units and several Clearwater members continued to search for the other suspect until all options for the night were exhausted. The following day, after a resident in the area called police to advise them of a prowler on their property, the search for the second suspect continued.
The 32 year-old Prince George suspect was located shortly after by Clearwater members with the assistance of a Kamloops K-9 unit. He was found hiding up a tree after the dog had tracked to the tree trunk and started circling it; he was taken into custody without any trouble.
Investigation into this incident is ongoing, spanning multiple jurisdictions, and both suspects are facing a multitude of charges including possession of stolen property and dangerous operation of a motor vehicle.
Anyone with further info or any dash cam video is asked to contact the McBride or Clearwater RCMP.
Given the speeds and erratic driving displayed by the suspects, in a stolen truck towing a stolen boat from the Alberta border into B.C., this incident could have had a very different and potentially tragic outcome.
As it was, due to a professional and measured response by all involved, the outcome was instead a positive and successful one with some learning opportunities gained as well.