UPDATE: Police Release Surveillance Images Captured of Suspect in Conflict with Police in Merritt
UPDATE: Southeast District – RCMP across multiple jurisdiction in the BC Southern Interior are sharing information with one another as investigators continue their efforts to both locate a suspect vehicle and advance their investigations into multiple crimes.
Police are searching for a burgundy pickup truck linked to a series of crimes from Kamloops to Kelowna.
RCMP are continuing their search for suspects they say are allegedly responsible for a string of cross jurisdictional crimes committed in the North Okanagan, Thompson-Nicola, Nicola Valley, and the Central Okanagan.
On Wednesday, shortly after 8 p.m., Merritt RCMP front line officers responded to a fraud in progress at a gas station located on Airport Road in the city. Police were told that an unknown male suspect was allegedly inside the store attempting to pass counterfeit U.S. and Canadian currency.
The suspect was associated to a burgundy Dodge Ram D-150 pickup truck. The responding officer encountered the suspect vehicle, which contained multiple occupants as it fled from the business.
"The suspect allegedly accelerated towards the responding officer, and sideswiped his fully marked police vehicle before fleeing the area eastbound, not pursued by police," says Cpl. Jesse O'Donaghey, spokesperson for the BC RCMP Southeast District.
On Monday, the same suspect vehicle was reportedly used to utter counterfeit currency at a gas station located along the Trans-Canada Highway in Kamloops. Investigative efforts have determined that the licence plate displayed on the burgundy Dodge Ram pickup truck had been stolen from a vehicle out of the Armstrong area. The stolen B.C. licence plate KK2078 remains outstanding at this time.
On Wednesday shortly after 10 p.m., West Kelowna RCMP were alerted to a hit and run collision in the parking lot of a business located along Boucherie Road involving the same suspect vehicle, which was last seen heading towards Kelowna.
"Kelowna RCMP deployed a spike belt on the east end of the William R. Bennett Bridge in an effort to disable the suspect vehicle," states Cpl. O'Donaghey. "The driver performed an evasive manoeuver, managed to avoid the tire deflation device and drove over the concrete meridian of the highway. A second motorist's vehicle was struck, as the suspect pulled a u-turn and proceeded back across the bridge span towards West Kelowna."
The drivers involved in each collision were reportedly uninjured, and police did not pursue the suspect vehicle.
Cpl. Jesse O'Donaghey further adds that, "If you happen to spot the burgundy Dodge Ram D-150 pickup truck in your community, we caution the public not to approach the suspect vehicle or any of its occupants. RCMP strongly urge the public to immediately call their local police of jurisdiction or 911 emergency."
If you have valuable information about any of these crime, you can remain completely anonymous by calling Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477.