Sicamous RCMP have arrested and charged a 32-year-old Enderby man following a police chase early Sunday morning involving a stolen truck, trailer and the two snowmobiles it was hauling. The vehicle had been stolen from a motel parking lot in Revelstoke just hours earlier.
An officer on a late night patrol in Sicamous set up specifically to target sled thefts noticed the truck on the move eastbound at about 3:20 a.m. on Sunday, Feb. 23.
When he attempted to pull the truck over, the truck sped off, eventually taking a dead-end side road where it slid into a ditch.
The man fled, but was tracked by a police dog to a nearby property where he was found hiding in a motorhome.
Sgt. Dave Dubnyk of the Sicamous RCMP detachment said the man “is known to the police.”
The man remains in custody until a Feb. 25 B.C. Provincial Court appearance in Salmon Arm.
The truck and trailers were registered to an owner from Saskatchewan.
Dubnyk said the intervention was the result of a police strategy that focused on information-sharing between local RCMP detachments and beefed up late-night patrols.
In the Sicamous area, police are targeting any vehicles hauling snowmobiles in the hours between sunset and sunrise.
“Everybody gets checked,” Dubnyk said, adding the response from the sledding community has been positive.
He estimated police have checked “hundreds” of trucks and trailers in the initiative this snow season and will continue until the snow melts.
Dubnyk said it was his feeling the individual was delivering the sled to someone else, and didn’t feel he was directly involved in chopping up sleds. He added that RCMP criminal analysts continue to investigate.
“That’s part of our investigation for sure,” Dubnyk said. “We are looking to determine where this particular sled and trailer were going.”
Dubnyk vowed continued enforcement this season, including the ongoing bait sled initiative. So far, police haven’t had any attempted thefts of the bait sled unit – a surveillance equipped trailer designed to lure in and catch thieves. It’s modelled after the bait car program.
Police remind snowmobile owners to take precautions like parking your vehicle in a well-lit place, using wheel locks, using alarms and disabling your vehicle’s motor.
The identity of the man and the exact charges against him will likely be revealed when court authorities release the Salmon Arm court docket on Feb. 25.
Sicamous RCMP are seeking charges of breach of probation, theft of a motor vehicle over $5,000 and possession of stolen property over $5,000. The Crown prosecutor has not yet decided on approval of the charges. Police are not yet releasing the man’s name.
None of the police allegations against him have been proven in court.
Despite ongoing security partnerships between Revelstoke police and snowmobile stakeholders like snowmobile organizations and accommodation providers, snowmobile thefts have continued to trouble the community. The expensive machines are often stolen along with valuable trucks and trailers.