Police deploy spike belt to stop suspect

Incident in Vernon Sunday leads to arrest of two people

Two people from the Lower Mainland are facing numerous charges following an incident that required Vernon-North Okanagan RCMP to use a spike belt.

Police received a report Sunday that two suspects were allegedly attempting to purchase items from the Hudson Bay Company and Best Buy using fraudulent credit cards.

“A man and woman allegedly entered both stores, provided false names and credit cards and purchased a large amount of electronics and household items,” said RCMP spokesperson Const. Kelly Brett.

Best Buy employees advised police upon the suspects’ return to pick up their purchased items when they showed up in a U-Haul cube van.

Police located the male suspect just outside the entrance sitting in the van. When the police activated their emergency equipment and attempted to stop the vehicle, it fled and, as a result, hit two police vehicles and an unoccupied vehicle in the parking lot.

The female suspect was apprehended on-scene without incident.

“The U-Haul van sped away from the scene at high rates of speed, with numerous reports flooding in from the public that a van was driving dangerously throughout the immediate area,” said Brett. “Fortunately no RCMP officers or members of the public were injured during this incident.”

Efforts to safely stop the vehicle were successful when police deployed a spike belt and the male driver taken into custody without further incident near Ellison Provincial Park on Eastside Road.

Through further investigation, RCMP have learned that the two suspects may have been involved with numerous theft from motor vehicles that were reported over the weekend.

“The investigation is still ongoing at this time and formal charges are expected to be laid within the next three days,” said Brett. “It was the quick thinking of the store’s employees in recognizing that something was suspicious about the two suspects and the information they provided. This led police to be able to respond immediately and ultimately apprehend the two suspects.”

The suspects are currently in custody and facing numerous charges related to dangerous driving, fraud and possession of stolen property.

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