Police needed to use a spike belt Monday morning to nab a West Kelowna man who, they say, was driving a stolen truck that was pulling a purloined trailer and lawn mowers.
The events leading up to the arrest began at 3 a.m., when Kelowna RCMP received a call that a low-bed trailer was possibly stolen from a home in the 600-block of Rutland Road South.
An hour later, a police officer spotted a trailer matching the description of the stolen one on Highway 97 north of Kelowna being driven “at a high rate of speed,” said Const. Steve Holmes.
The officer confirmed the trailer, now carrying three ride-on lawn tractors, was in fact the stolen one and followed at a distance while awaiting backup as the vehicle was driven toward Carr’s Landing.
When the officer noticed the vehicle’s tires were smoking, possibly from a mechanical problem, he tried to pull the truck over, but was not successful. The officer instead backed off, said Holmes, and broadcast information about the stolen vehicles to Vernon RCMP.
Vernon officers observed the vehicle, stolen from Alberta, on Commonage Road and set up a spike belt, which was successfully deployed as the truck drove over the belt.
“The driver took off from the scene on foot but he was arrested a short time later, just before 5 a.m.,” said Vernon RCMP spokesperson Gord Molendyk.
Raymond Frederick Gilliland, a 37-year-old West Kelowna man, is now charged with possession of stolen property, theft, flight from police, dangerous operation of a motor vehicle, operating a motor vehicle while disqualified, possession of break-in instruments and two counts of break and enter.
—With files from Roger Knox of the Vernon Morningstar, sister newspaper to the Capital News.