Two local men were arrested and face “a plethora” of charges after allegedly stealing a truck and trailer and leading police on a multi-jurisdictional chase on Sunday morning.
After allegedly stealing a truck and trailer from a commercial business in Errington in the early morning hours, the two were taken into custody after leading Nanaimo RCMP on a chase that ended when they crashed the truck at an Oceanside RCMP roadblock set up at Highway 19 and Northwest Bay Road at 10:45 a.m.
The trailer, which held a paving roller machine valued at $50,000, was later recovered in the Ladysmith area, RCMP said in a news release.
In provincial court in Nanaimo Monday, eight charges were recommended against a 21-year-old Parksville man, including failure to stop for a police officer and dangerous operation of a motor vehicle. He and the second suspect, a 26-year-old Errington resident, were both charged with break and enter, theft of a motor vehicle, possession of stolen property and obstruction of a police officer.
The incident began at approximately 4:45 a.m. Nov. 13, when two males entered the Oceanside Paving Company compound. Surveillance video shows the pair attempting to steal a Ford F550 service truck. After giving up on that vehicle, RCMP said, they entered a second truck, which was driven with its trailer and cargo through the locked gates, causing “substantial damage.”
The video then showed the vehicle headed southbound on Alberni Highway.
The information was forwarded to surrounding detachments and a Nanaimo RCMP officer spotted the stolen truck later in the morning in Nanaimo. The vehicle eluded police attempts to deploy a spike belt, though a civilian car was damaged by the spikes, RCMP said.
The stolen vehicle continued northbound “without concern for the public” and finally crashed while trying to avoid Oceanside RCMP members waiting near the Petro Canada station at the junction of Highway 19 and Northwest Bay Road in Nanoose Bay.
The two male occupants were taken into custody at the crash site with assistance from the Nanaimo RCMP Police Dog Section.
The trailer with the paving machine was later recovered near the scene of another theft from a vehicle, which took place near Ladysmith. Evidence of this theft was located in the stolen vehicle from which the two males were arrested.
The Parksville defendant was described by RCMP as a chronic, prolific offender who was just released from custody. His charges in court Monday included breach of undertaking and failure to comply with a probation order.
“The co-operation of the Oceanside RCMP, Nanaimo RCMP and Ladysmith RCMP was pivotal in the termination of this prolific crime spree,” RCMP spokesperson Jesse Foreman wrote.
— NEWS Staff/RCMP news release