OKOTOKS - A free-for-all that began with a stolen vehicle and turned into a police pursuit complete with spike belts eventually resulted in a grass fire and the arrest of three people.
The incident started around 2:30 Friday (Aug 11) morning, when Calgary Police notified Okotoks RCMP that a stolen half ton truck was headed towards Okotoks.
RCMP officers from the Okotoks and High River detachments located the vehicle, which was being monitored by the HAWCS helicopter, on Hwy 2. A spike belt was deployed which deflated two of the vehicle tires just north of High River.
The vehicle turned off of Hwy 2 towards High River where two passengers in the vehicle got out and tried to hide from police. However, the helicopter kept track of them and officers were able to locate and arrest the man and woman without incident.
When the stolen truck continued into High River and and headed East on Hwy 23 towards Vulcan, a second spike belt was deployed south of Vulcan resulting in the other two tires blowing out. Unfortunately, the driver of the truck continued southbound and sparks from the tire rims ignited a fire in the ditch along Hwy 23 near Champion.
The Champion volunteer fire department was called out to extinguish the fire.
The stolen truck eventually stopped after it caught fire and was unable to continue on the rims. The driver, a 35-year-old man from Calgary was arrested without further incident. The driver was found to be on statutory release and has been returned to jail, awaiting charges of dangerous operation of a motor vehicle, possession of stolen property and flight from police.
The two passengers who jumped from the vehicle near High River, a 26-year-old woman and a 25-year-old man, both from Calgary, face a charge of possession of stolen property over $5000. They were released from custody to appear in Okotoks Provincial Court on September 8, 2017.
The names of those arrested cannot be released as charges have not yet been sworn.
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