A vehicle in a pond in Abbotsford after an alleged crime spree took police from Chilliwack to New Westminster then back to Langley and Abbotsford. Two prolific offenders from Alberta face charges. (RCMP)

Prolific offenders from Alberta lead RCMP on chase from Kelowna to Abbotsford

Men first reported in Chilliwack ending with allegedly stolen vehicle in an Abbotsford pond

Two Alberta men face charges after a crime spree that went from Kelowna to Chilliwack to New Westminster back to Langley then Abbotsford ending with a vehicle in a pond.

The incident starting at around 11 p.m. on Feb. 18 began with a report of a suspicious pickup truck in a housing complex in the 45000-block of Luckakuck Way.

Chilliwack RCMP Crime Reduction Unit (CRU) investigators soon linked the pickup truck to a vehicle reported stolen to the Kelowna RCMP.

The investigation led officers to a parking lot in New Westminster where the occupants abandoned the first truck in exchange for a second allegedly stolen vehicle.

READ MORE: Two in custody after two-vehicle crash and rollover in downtown Chilliwack

READ MORE: Judge gives 16 months jail for Abbotsford vehicle theft, flight from police, Chilliwack crash

Officers continued to track the vehicle, which eventually ended up at a service station in Langley where the truck collided with a Chilliwack RCMP police vehicle before speeding away.

A 27-year-old man from Calgary, Alta., was arrested by police following a brief foot chase.

The suspect vehicle was then located by an Abbotsford Police Department (APD) officer on Clearbrook Road where after failing to stop for police and then crashed into a small pond. The alleged operator of the vehicle, a 25-year-old man from Calgary, was arrested by police.

Sebastian Thomas Tait, 25, is charged with possession of property over $5,000, dangerous operation of a conveyance, flight from police, drive while disqualified, and two breaches of release orders.

The man arrested in Langley is James Chartrand, 27, and is charged one breach of a release order.

Both men remain in custody, and first appeared in Chilliwack provincial court on Feb. 19. They are next due in Surrey provincial court on March 6.

“Criminals travel across jurisdictional boundaries to commit crime and law enforcement agencies work together across jurisdictional boundaries to apprehend them,” RCMP spokesperson Cpl. Mike Rail said in a press release.

Tait has no other criminal contacts with the B.C. provincial court system but he is a prolific offender from Alberta.

In 2017, Tait faced 23 for auto theft after allegedly using a fake driver’s licence to take vehicles for test drives from dealerships and private sales. At the time he had 10 outstanding warrants for his arrest.

Chartrand is similarly well-known to police in Alberta, leading officers on a chase through Okotoks in a stolen vehicle in July 2016. He was also arrested after allegedly stealing a vehicle in Sundre, Alta. on Nov. 30, 2019. When spotted peeing next to the stolen vehicle on a highway, Chartrand ran into the woods but was later caught several kilometres away in Cremona.


Do you have something to add to this story, or something else we should report on? Email:
paul.henderson@theprogress.com

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