Dogs and helicopter used to catch suspect

RCMP officers used police dogs and a helicopter to locate a stolen vehicle and suspect

  • Mar. 9, 2017 2:27 p.m.

It took plain clothed and uniformed RCMP officers from Kelowna and Lake Country, supported by an RCMP helicopter to help a team with police dogs track down a man accused of auto-theft and cold-cocking a female transit driver last month.

On March 8 at 9:26 a.m., officers responded to a report of vehicle theft that occurred on the 200 block of Ponto Road in Kelowna. Police learned that the late model grey Ford Crown Victoria had been left momentarily, idling in the owner’s driveway as he returned to his home for an item, when the suspect climbed inside and drove away.

Within minutes, officers arrived in the immediate area and spotted the stolen vehicle, as it allegedly disobeyed traffic-control devices and fled the area in a dangerous manner at high speeds. Given the risk to the public, officers did not pursue.

A plain-clothed officer in an unmarked police vehicle spotted the distinctive stolen Crown Victoria travelling along Highway 97 just south of the airport and monitored its movements from a safe distance. The suspect eventually abandoned the stolen car in a residential development north of Ellison Lake (Duck Lake).

RCMP officers and a helicopter, set up an area of containment, while they awaited the arrival of the Kelowna police dogs.

“Const. Christopher Brinnen and his four-legged partner, Fitz, conducted a track for their suspect who was found hiding inside a plastic storage bin,” said Cpl. Jesse O’Donaghey. “Police identified their auto theft suspect and determined that he was wanted on unrelated outstanding warrants for his arrest.”

The suspect, a 17-year-old Kelowna youth, faces additional potential charges for assaulting a BC Transit driver in West Kelowna. He was held in police custody and is expected to appear in court today.

On Monday, Feb. 13, at 12:28 p.m., the West Kelowna RCMP responded to a report of an assault that occurred on board of a BC Transit bus stopped at the Highway 97 South and Hudson Road bus exchange.

Police learned the operator of the bus was allegedly struck by the suspect who fled the bus and area on foot.

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