Highway 16 was closed this morning east of Burns Lake following the end of an extended pursuit of a man suspected of stealing multiple vehicles. (Laura Blackwell photo)

Man arrested, officer hurt following wild Hwy 16 chase

Two police cars rammed as RCMP pursued suspect

A Prince George man is now in custody and facing multiple charges following a series of vehicle thefts that began March 9 in Terrace and ended in his arrest on Hwy 16 east of Burns Lake in the early morning hours of March 10.

The man was treated for non-life threatening injuries and a RCMP officer was also treated for non-life threatening injuries, states a RCMP release which detailed the incidents.

A number of RCMP detachments were involved in the ongoing search for the suspect following an initial report of a pickup truck being stolen from Terrace.

“On Monday, March 9 at 5:05 p.m., Smithers RCMP received a report of a man on a bicycle that had stolen a black Ford F350. The suspect left behind a white Ford F250 that was reported stolen out of Terrace. The suspect was last seen speeding from the scene towards Telkwa,” indicated the RCMP release.

“Around 5:32 p.m. on the same day, the Ford F350 stopped in the Hungry Hill area. The suspect left this vehicle behind, allegedly stealing a Ford F150 and was headed Houston. It was also reported that there was the possibility of firearms and other weapons in this stolen Ford F150,” the release continues.

“At 8:44 p.m. the same day, the Ford F150 was “chased away” by the owner from a property in the 5200 Block of Highway 16 as the suspect was allegedly trying to steal items from there. The suspect left the Ford F150 behind and took a Chevy 3500. This vehicle was later involved in a crash in Houston.”

The release then indicated that less than an hour later, police received a report of another vehicle theft, this time a two-tone grey and blue GMC 2500 from the 4800 Block of Summit Lake Road.

Burns Lake RCMP and Fraser Lake RCMP were called to assist the RCMP detachments already involved.

At 11:27 p.m. on March 9 Burns Lake RCMP officers spotted the reported stolen vehicle in the parking lot of the local hospital but the suspect failed to stop and fled the area.

Just after midnight March 10, an RCMP officer located the stolen vehicle as it crashed east of Burns Lake on Hwy 16.

“A short time later, police were alerted to a nearby residence as someone was yelling that their snowmobile was being stolen. As police made their way to the residence, the stolen sled drove at a high rate of speed directly at the police, narrowly missing two police cars vehicles, fleeing down trails where the police vehicles could not go,” the RCMP release stated.

At approximately 12:30 a.m. on March 10 police were told that someone stole a Dodge plow truck from Bartlett Road, heading further east of Burns Lake, leaving a snowmobile behind.

Officers then spotted the vehicle stopped on Hwy16 and as “police positioned the police vehicles in a manner to prevent the suspect from fleeing, the suspect rammed one police vehicle and then reversed and rammed the second police vehicle,” the RCMP release stated.

The suspect was arrested at gunpoint due to the possibility of firearms being present in one of the stolen vehicles.

The 38-year-old suspect, say police, could face numerous charges and remains in custody.

Police seized drugs, suspected to be methamphetamine during the arrest.

The highway was closed to conduct the investigation but has since been reopened to single alternating traffic.

The suspect was taken to hospital for injuries sustained in the crash with non-life threatening injuries. He was later released to police custody.

A police officer was also treated for non-life threatening injuries sustained during this altercation.

Crime

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