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Property crime spree ends with dramatic crash on Highway 97 south of Quesnel

Three suspects have been arrested, one suspect fled by swimming across Fraser River

Two property crime suspects were arrested after their stolen vehicle rolled multiple times on Highway 97 south of Quesnel, with a third suspect located and arrested with the help of a police dog and helicopter after he swam across the Fraser River, says RCMP.

On Monday, Oct. 24, at approximately 6:20 a.m., the Quesnel RCMP responded to the theft of a 2000 Ford F-350 from a motel on Front Street.

Approximately one hour later, the stolen vehicle was used in the attempted theft of a boat and boat trailer from the Lakeview Crescent area. In a news release, media relations officer Sgt. Clay Kronebusch noted the thieves had failed to properly attach the trailer, and it fell off the hitch and was recovered in a nearby yard.

At 7:50 a.m., the suspects entered a rural property in Alexandria and attempted to steal a side-by-side utility terrain vehicle with the stolen truck. When the property owner attempted to stop the theft, the stolen truck collided with the property owner’s vehicle.

RCMP said the truck was followed by the owner south on Highway 97, where a second collision occurred at a rest stop. The stolen vehicle then fled north on Highway 97, where it rolled several times in the ditch after failing to negotiate a driveway to a field.

“Two suspects in the stolen vehicle were injured in the collision,” Kronebusch added. “The third suspect then stole a bystander’s Dodge 3500 welding truck and fled south on Highway 97.”

The Dodge truck was located on a rural property in Alexandria, hidden behind a building. When the police approached, the truck fled at a high rate of speed, narrowly missing an RCMP officer.

“As the police were closing in on the truck, the suspect drove into a yard and stole a quad from the driveway,” Kronebusch said. “The suspect entered a field, drove through a barbed wire fence, and rolled the quad down a steep embankment.”

With the assistance of an RCMP police dog and a police helicopter, the suspect was located and arrested after he swam across the Fraser River to the west side. The suspect was exhausted and later transported to the hospital with symptoms of hypothermia.

The two suspects injured in the rollover were also transported by ground ambulance with non-life-threatening injuries.

RCMP said the results of the investigation will be forwarded to the BC Prosecution Service for assessment of charges for all three suspects.

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