A Kelowna RCMP service dog named Dex aided in the capture of two men, Christopher Drummond of Coldstream and Chad Cutting of Kelowna, alleged to have stolen a recreational vehicle and utility trailer in the early morning hours of Thursday.
On Jan. 7, at 3:51 a.m., the Kelowna RCMP responded to a report of a theft in progress where a utility trailer, loaded with a camouflage Kawasaki side-by-side all-terrain vehicle, was taken from the driveway of a residence in the 400 block of Peck Road.
The owner, who witnessed the theft in progress and immediately called police, reported that his trailer struck and caused damage to the side of his house as the suspects drove away.
Police officers flooded the area patrolling for the suspect vehicle which was last seen headed towards Springfield Road. Shortly after 4 a.m. an officer was passed by the suspect vehicle travelling northbound on Old Vernon Road. Within a matter of minutes officers located the truck and trailer jack-knifed and abandoned in the 4500 block of Postill Drive.
Investigators found two sets of fresh footprints in the snow leading from the suspect truck. Officers set up an area of containment and called in an RCMP K9 unit to conduct a search.
Kelowna RCMP service dog Dex tracked one of the suspects north into a wooded area of dense underbrush and trees where police located and arrested their first suspect, a 37-year-old Coldstream man. He was taken into police custody without incident.
After catching his first suspect, and while Dex was searching for the second, an officer on the perimeter of the area of containment located and arrested the second suspect who was attempting to flee the area in a taxi cab. Dex’s second track led to where the suspect, a 37-year-old Kelowna man, was picked up by the taxi.
“Police have determined that the suspects managed to cut or break the lock from the trailer during the theft,” said Const. Jesse O’Donaghey. “RCMP recommends that the public consider storing these types of trailers out of sight, use other vehicles to block the trailers in, chain them to a large fixed object, as well as ensure there is ample lighting in the area,” O’Donaghey said.
Christopher Drummond of Coldstream and Chad Cutting of Kelowna have each been formally charged with possession of property obtained by crime over $5,000, and theft over $5,000. Drummond and Cutting remain in custody and are expected to appear in court on Jan. 14.