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Four people face theft charges after their attempt to evade Airdrie RCMP on the QEII Highway was complicated by missing tires.

According to RCMP, an employee of a Shell gas station in southwest Airdrie triggered a panic alarm Saturday night after she spotted a man whom she believed was the suspect in a recent armed robbery.

When police arrived the suspect vehicle sped out of the parking lot.

Officers tracked the vehicle and a tire deflation device was utilized at the intersection of Yankee Valley Boulevard and Main Street. All four of the vehicle's tires were punctured but the driver continued eastward and entered the QEII Highway.

Police units halted traffic along the highway while the suspect vehicle — now travelling on its rims — was pursued. An RCMP vehicle forced the suspect vehicle into the ditch and the four occupants of the vehicle were arrested.

RCMP officials say the suspects were wanted in connection with a string of lottery ticket thefts.

Donald Edward Blake, 38, of no fixed address, has been charged with:

  • Theft of lottery tickets (seven counts)
  • Dangerous driving
  • Possession of stolen property
  • Possession of a controlled substance.

Blake remains in custody ahead of his April 2 appearance in Airdrie provincial court.

The other three suspects — two males and a female of undisclosed ages — have been charged and released ahead of their respective court appearances. Their charges range from theft to being an occupant of a motor vehicle without consent.