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Scary moments in rural Penticton end with arrests in West Kelowna

Heavy police presence after man and woman accused of theft in Carmi neighbourhood
RCMP search for suspects involved in break-ins and vehicle thefts in the Carmi area of Penticton on Friday, morning. The suspect pair were arrested in West Kelowna later that morning. (Ellen Girouard)

With police running through yards with guns drawn and two suspects trying to gain entry into homes, it was some terrifying moments for residents in the Carmi area of Penticton Friday morning, March 24.

A man and a woman were caught stealing from properties up Carmi Road. Citizens tried to stop the pair while waiting for police to arrive, blocking in the vehicle they had stolen. At one point, the female suspect allegedly pulled a gun on one of the men and pulled the trigger, according to other media reports. But it turned out to be an air gun.

For Carmi resident Ellen Girouard, it was very unnerving to see RCMP with high powered rifles running around her property but she’s grateful and thankful for their quick response.

“It was a very scary event. I must say that the RCMP response was incredible. My poor neighbour is still shaken up having them (the suspects) enter her house,” Girouard said.

“We don’t often hear yelling up here, so when I did hear the commotion, I paid attention. Hats off to those contractors for telling me to lock my doors as the sketchers were running up our driveway. The creeps tried our lower doors but could not get in so they kept running through our property to the [neighbour],” she said.

RCMP confirm that on March 24, police officers from multiple South Okanagan jurisdictions received reports of two people suspected of stealing several vehicles and property in the area of Carmi.

Officers were quick to locate one of the reported stolen vehicles driving in Penticton. With concern for public safety, officers used covert tactics to follow the suspects until they were able to safely stop the vehicle and arrest these two individuals without injury in the Glenrosa neighbourhood of West Kelowna.

READ MORE: 2 in custody after South Okanagan vehicle thefts lead to West Kelowna arrests

The suspects drove the stolen white truck off-road and down an embankment at Glenrosa and McIver roads around 10:30 a.m.

“This was a dynamic and fluid event but with the organized cooperation from multiple South Okanagan RCMP detachments the suspects were taken into custody without injury to the public, police officers or the two individuals,“ said Const. Mike Della-Paolera, media relations officer with the Kelowna Regional RCMP.

The pair are currently being held in custody to await their date in court.

“Due to the complexity of this investigation, there will be no further comment at this time,” said the police.

If members of the public have any dash camera recordings or surveillance video which may assist with this file, please contact the Penticton RCMP detachment at 250-492-4300 and reference file number 2023-4299.

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Monique Tamminga

About the Author: Monique Tamminga

Monique brings 20 years of award-winning journalism experience to the role of editor at the Penticton Western News. Of those years, 17 were spent working as a senior reporter and acting editor with the Langley Advance Times.
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