$data.PageTitle

Three people are facing charges after two robberies and an attempt to flee police on Nov. 29, 2019. (Photo courtesy: Victor Jensen)

A semi driving in the wrong direction of traffic on Highway 2 south of Edmonton and subsequent police scene Friday evening was caused by a group of thieves attempting to evade police, RCMP say.

Two men and a woman are facing a "multitude of criminal charges" as a result of the event, RCMP said Saturday afternoon.

Around 7:40 p.m., a woman was assaulted and robbed of her purse at the Premium Outlet Collection mall in Leduc.

About an hour later, an armed robbery was reported at a liquor store in Millet, south of Leduc.

Leduc RCMP concluded the same people were responsible for both crimes, as the suspect descriptions from the victims at both locations matched. The thieves in each crime were also said to have fled in a grey Ford F-150 pickup truck.  

While on their way to the Millet store, police came across the suspect vehicle and began to pursue, RCMP said.

The truck was followed to Highway 2 south of Leduc where police deployed a spike belt.

Despite losing all four tires, the truck reportedly continued to travel north on only its tire rims.

Police said it then was driven over the median into the southbound lanes of Highway 2, and crashed with a semi.

"Three individuals exited the suspect vehicle and fled on foot. Two of the individuals were quickly apprehended by police," RCMP recalled in a statement.

"However a third suspect, seeing that the semi truck driver had exited his vehicle, got into the semi truck and fled."

RMCP chased the truck for an estimated 25 kilometres, during which the driver of the stolen semi at one point crossed the median to drive north in the southbound traffic, and then crossing the median again to continue north in the northbound lanes.

The semi was finally stopped when its brakes locked.

"Police immediately apprehended the suspect who was taken into custody without further incident."

Police said no one was injured in the pursuit or collision, and thanked officers who responded from four RCMP departments.

An update on the arrests is expected once charges are sworn.