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3 arrested after fleeing from stolen truck near Mount Baldy

Police service dog lauded for efforts during backcountry pursuit
Oliver and Osoyoos RCMP responded to an incident of a stolen vehicle near Mount Baldy. (File)

A man and two women were arrested near Oliver after fleeing from a truck that was stolen in West Kelowna one week earlier.

On April 2, at 9:05 a.m., police responded to a report from a citizen who was following a stolen vehicle on Oliver’s McKinney Road. The vehicle later rammed the citizen’s car before the occupants fled into the snow-covered bush near Mount Baldy.

Officers from Oliver and Osoyoos RCMP converged on the area shortly after, where they located the citizen who reported the incident as well as a Ford F250 pickup truck that had been stolen from West Kelowna on March 26.

The two women who fled from the truck, a 22-year-old from Vernon and a 38-year-old from Oliver, were quickly located in the bushes.

After an extensive search in the area, with help from RCMP Air Services and a police service from Penticton, the driver was located.

All three were arrested for possession of a stolen vehicle. The man, a 27-year-old from Williams Lake, faces additional charges of dangerous operation of a motor vehicle and breach of probation, police said.

“The capture and arrest of this man would not have been possible without the determined efforts of police dog, Dug,” said Sgt. Jason Bayda from the South Okanagan RCMP.

“Of course, I would be remiss if I didn’t mention the dedication of our dog handler and cover officer who trekked through nearly 5 kilometres of snow and steep terrain under the watchful eyes in the sky of our skilled pilot.”

Following the arrests, local RCMP are encouraging the public to report a crime when they see one and to not engage with the suspects.

“In this case, we are thankful that neither the citizen nor any officers were injured,” said Bayda. “The man and two women were also uninjured but as can be expected, they were cold and tired.”

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