RCMP in West Kelowna continue to investigate two separate incidents, one involving a foot pursuit and the other tracking a stolen vehicle.
On Sep. 28 shortly before 1 p.m., RCMP in West Kelowna responded to reports of a possible impaired driver in the 1500 block of Merlot Drive, according to the RCMP.
Police recognized the male as a suspect they believe was connected to criminal activity, namely property crime recently committed in the area. The male fled from his vehicle on foot, when approached by officers.
“RCMP flooded and set up containment in the area of Mission Hill, as they sought the support of both the Kelowna RCMP Police Dog Services (PDS) section and RCMP Air Services fixed wing aircraft,” said Cpl. Jesse O’Donaghey. “An extensive search unfortunately failed to turn up the suspect male, however our police service dog recovered a bag, which contained a loaded firearm.”
“Out of an abundance of caution RCMP chose to advise school officials to perform a hold and secure at Chief Tomat Elementary School,” said O’Donaghey. “Public safety is a top priority for us, and we’d like to thank the students, staff and parents of those who attend the school, for their patience and understanding during the unfolding event.”
RCMP have seized the suspect’s vehicle, a silver Cadillac, at the scene and subsequently located what they believe to be stolen property inside. Investigators will now continue efforts to identify the proper owners of that suspected stolen property.
The suspect is described as a Caucasian male, approximately 5-foot-7 in tall, a slender 140 pounds, with short hair. He was last seen wearing grey sweat pants, black t-shirt and a flat brimmed hat.
While still actively searching for their primary suspect, officers in the area encountered a black Ford Mustang being operated in a dangerous manner and seen travelling at high rates of speed through school zones. Given the high risk nature the vehicle was being driven, investigators considered the possibility that their suspect was an occupant of the vehicle and chose to monitor its movements in the Vernon RCMP’s jurisdiction from the sky, according to the RCMP.
With the cooperation of the North Okanagan Vernon RCMP, police successfully tracked down the Ford Mustang, abandoned along Briarwood Road, and took a man and a woman into custody without further incident.
The 27-year-old Kelowna man, determined to be wanted on un-related warrants for his arrest and a 28-year-old West Kelowna woman have each been positively identified and ruled out at this time as connected to the original incident being investigated by West Kelowna RCMP on Merlot Drive. They each face potential charges and remain in police custody at this time, according to the RCMP.
Anyone with any information is asked to contact the West Kelowna RCMP at 250-768-2880. Or remain anonymous by calling Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477, leaving a tip online or by texting your tip to CRIMES (274637) ktown.