Salmon Arm man arrested in stolen vehicle & crime spree in Vernon area


On Saturday May 2, at approximately 3:00 am, frontline officers from the Vernon North Okanagan were advised a stolen vehicle heading northbound on Hwy 97A from Vernon. However, the incident began much earlier in the evening at around 8:45 pm on Friday, when officers were advised to be on the lookout for a white SUV which had been stolen from a neighbouring jurisdiction.

A short time later, a vehicle of a similar description was involved in thefts from vehicles in the Enderby area. While police were conducting an investigation, a report was received at 1:00 am of a near head on collision in Coldstream with a vehicle of a similar description. Police conducted numerous patrols but were unable to locate the vehicle which had taken off at a high rate of speed. At 2:30 am, officers responded to an attempted break and enter at a business in the 3100 block of 29th Avenue in Vernon where a white SUV had been seen leaving the scene. Twenty minutes later, an officer patrolling for the vehicle located it on Hwy 97 north of Vernon. The vehicle refused to stop and continued northbound on Hwy 97A.

"Officers working in the North Rural area were alerted the vehicle was heading their way and encountered the SUV near Armstrong," said Corporal Tania Finn, Media Relations Officer for the Vernon North Okanagan RCMP.  "As our officer set up the spike belt, a flare gun was discharged at the officer and the suspect managed to flee. Fortunately, the flare did not strike our officer."

As the vehicle continued north, the driver was unable to navigate a corner and officers located it in a field nearby. When police approached, the vehicle fled and a second spike belt was successfully deployed. With the vehicle disabled, the driver was quickly arrested without further incident.

A 27 year old man from Salmon Arm is in custody and is charged with numerous offences including theft over $5000, mischief, break and enter, possession of stolen property over $5000, flight from police, dangerous operation of a motor vehicle, possession of a weapon for a dangerous purpose and assaulting a police officer. There are no reports of any injuries to the public, the officers or the suspect as a result of this incident.