UPDATE 8:01 P.M.
Armed thieves made off with a number of handguns from a local outdoor store before torching their getaway truck on the Westside.
Antler Creek Outfitters owner Larry Wilkins was held at gunpoint at 3:33 p.m. Tuesday while thieves loaded up a bag full of handguns from the West Kelowna store.
“There were two guys. One stayed by the door with a gun and the other one loaded up a bunch of handguns in a gunny sack,” said Wilkins who was still understandably shaken hours after the terrifying ordeal.
“When you have a gun pointed at you and they could pull the trigger at any moment, you don't know. You just don't know what to do.”
Wilkins said it appeared the thieves had cased out the store beforehand and seemed to know what they were doing.
They were in and out of the store in three minutes.
As soon as they left, Wilkins said he hit the panic alarm and police arrived “fairly quickly.”
He managed to get a look at the getaway truck and said it was the same one that was found ablaze on Majoros Road, near Gellatly Road.
“RCMP Air Services and Police Dog Services were both engaged,” said Cpl. Jesse O’Donaghey, spokesperson for the Kelowna Regional RCMP. “The RCMP helicopter and a police service dog responded to the area to assist in the search for suspects and possible evidence. The ongoing investigation has revealed that the pickup truck, recovered torched, had been stolen earlier in the day from a parking lot in the 2300 block of Highway 97.”
Suspect 1 is described as a Caucasian male approximately 5' 6" to 5'8'' tall, wearing grey jeans, a black zippered hoodie, white undershirt, dark gloves, dark shoes and a full face ski mask. He was carrying a dark-coloured duffle bag;
Suspect 2 is described as Caucasian male approximately 5' 6" to 5'8'' tall, wearing dark coveralls with reflective stripes on cuffs, ankles and across the back, dark gloves, dark footwear and a pair of sunglasses with reflective lenses.
“Both men are considered to be armed and dangerous,” said O’Donaghey. “If spotted, do not approach either suspect, and call your local police immediately.”
Anyone with any information is urged to contact the West Kelowna RCMP at 250-768-2880. Or remain anonymous by calling Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477, leaving a tip online at www.crimestoppers.net or by texting your tip to CRIMES (274637) ktown.
- with files from Darren Handschuh
UPDATED: 4:30 p.m.
An RCMP helicopter is circling above the area where the burning truck was found, and witnesses in the area say they saw two men leave the truck in the empty lot and run away before the truck caught fire.
Police have yet to confirm if they are looking for suspects in the area.
ORIGINAL: 4:15 p.m.
A truck was destroyed by fire in West Kelowna Tuesday afternoon.
Emergency crews rushed to an empty lot on Majoros Road, near Gellatly Road, at 3:30 p.m. to find a red Ford truck fully engulfed in flames.
The cause of the fire is unknown at this time.
While fighting the blaze, firefighters could be heard warning other firefighters that police had told them remain “defensive,” possibly due to a tank in the bed of the truck.