Three people have been arrested following a police chase on the Coquihalla Highway that happened on Wednesday, Nov. 23.
Around 12:15 p.m., RCMP from the BC Highway Patrol as well as the CFSEU-BC and Uniform Gang Enforcement Team were called to locate a stolen black Dodge Ram truck near the Coquihalla Summit.
Police pulled over the truck, but the vehicle fled the scene down a sideroad. As the truck drove away, it became stuck and three people left the vehicle. One witness reported one of the fleeing suspects had a firearm.
A group of more than a dozen construction workers was evacuated in the area as they were the last known people to see the suspects.
The Coquihalla was closed from 2:36 p.m. to 6:50 p.m as the RCMP, including members from Merritt, searched for the suspects.
One suspect, a woman, was first found and arrested as two men were still at large.
Around 6p.m., the two men were found and arrested without incident. They were transported to the Merritt RCMP detachment.
The highway opened around an hour after the two men were arrested.
“Out of an abundance of caution the highway was closed for several hours while we searched the area for these suspects,” said Merritt RCMP Media Relations Officer Sgt. Josh Roda. “Without knowing their identities or their intentions, and reports indicating they were armed, we felt it was best to keep all members of the public from the scene.”
After the arrest, as the investigation continues, it was determined the stolen truck was stolen out of Coquitlam and the attached license was stolen from Langley.
“We are aware of the online speculation on the identities of these suspects,” said Roda. “Although we are in the preliminary stages of this investigation, there is no indication that these suspects are related to any recent high-profile events in the Lower Mainland or Merritt.”
Commercial truck drivers helped the RCMP locate the stolen truck and relay information throughout the day.
The RCMP are asking for any dashcam footage from anyone that was near the Juliet Bridge, just south of Merritt between 11:30 a.m. and 2:30 p.m. on Wednesday, or anyone with any additional information to come forward and call the Merritt RCMP at 250-378-4262.