Flare gun shot at North Okanagan RCMP in stolen SUV chase

Spike belt successfully stalls vehicle, Salmon Arm man facing numerous charges

Police successfully deployed the spike belt to stop a stolen vehicle fleeing from Vernon over the weekend.

Vernon RCMP working in the north rural area were advised a stolen vehicle was heading northbound on Highway 97A from Vernon on Saturday, May 2, at approximately 3 a.m. However, the incident began much earlier, at around 8:45 p.m. on Friday night when police were advised to be on the lookout for a white SUV that had been stolen from a neighbouring jurisdiction.

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

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 description similar to the one use in the Enderby incident.

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

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

Twenty minutes later, an officer looking for the vehicle located it on Highway 97 north of Vernon.

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

“Our officers working in the North Rural area were alerted the vehicle was heading their way and encountered the SUV near Armstrong,” said Vernon North Okanagan RCMP media relations officer Cpl. Tania Finn.

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

As the vehicle continued north, the driver was unable to navigate a corner and police located it in a field nearby. When Mounties approached, the vehicle fled and a second spike belt was successfully deployed. With the vehicle disabled, the driver was quickly arrested without further incident.

A 27-year-old man from Salmon Arm is in custody and is charged with numerous offences including theft over $5,000, mischief, break and enter, possession of stolen property, 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.

READ MORE: Shoeless suspect clubs downtown Vernon business door

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@VernonNews
newsroom@vernonmorningstar.com

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