Truck thieves tracked down

Two men from Prince George are facing a number of charges following a multi-jurisdictional pursuit.

Police say it began last Wednesday, Dec. 12 around 2 p.m., when McBride RCMP tried to stop a white Ford F450 truck towing a a jet boat along Highway 16 east near McBride.

The driver of the truck refused to stop and took off, dangerously driving away from police. The McBride officer didn't give chase, but did notify neighbouring RCMP detachments along Highway 16 of the incident.  

Another traffic stop was attempted near Valemount, near the junction of Highway 16 and Highway 5, but again RCMP were unsuccessful, as the vehicle exited onto Highway 5 towards the Clearwater area.

A short time later, officers found the boat and trailer dumped in the middle of Highway 5 south of Valemount. It was also confirmed the truck had been stolen from Calgary and the boat stolen from Grande Prairie, Alberta.

The truck was spotted by police heading south on Highway 5 past Blue River towards Clearwater. At this point Central Interior Traffic Services, RCMP Air Services, Kamloops and Prince George K-9 units, and the Clearwater RCMP were brought in to try and catch the fleeing vehicle. 

The Clearwater RCMP successfully used a spike belt to disable the truck as it entered their jurisdiction. 

However, even on bare rims, the driver tried to evade police, eventually coming to a stop on Hwy 5 at Hoirup Rd. North in the Vavenby area.

The two men then fled on foot.  Police set a perimeter with several K-9 units tracking the suspects. 

At 6:00 p.m. a 29-year-old man from Prince George was arrested. RCMP continued their search but eventually called it off for the night.

The next morning, police received a call from a resident in the area saying that a prowler was on their property.

A 32-year-old Prince George man was found shortly after hiding in a tree by Clearwater members with the assistance of a Kamloops K-9 unit. 

"The investigation is ongoing and spans multiple jurisdictions, both suspects are facing a multitude of charges including possession of stolen property and dangerous operation of a motor vehicle," stated Cpl Dan Moskaluk

"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," added Sgt Grant Simpson of the Clearwater RCMP.

The Clearwater RCMP are seeking the public’s assistance and ask that anyone having any information associated to this matter, or possibly having dash cam footage of the truck involved (White Ford F450 truck with Alberta licence BBY0780 is asked to contact the McBride RCMP 250-569-2255 or Clearwater RCMP 250-674-2237.

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