An RCMP cruiser damaged during a chase Thursday night.

An RCMP cruiser damaged during a chase Thursday night.

Police chase driver through three South Okanagan communities

Suspect finally nabbed in Oliver after Mounties spot him filling up a gas can at a convenience store

After high-speed police chases between three South Okanagan communities, a 21-year-old man was finally nabbed while gassing up at an Oliver convenience store.

The unidentified driver, who was in a 2001 Ford Explorer, first caught Mounties’ attention around 11 p.m. Thursday while speeding on Highway 97 just south of Summerland, according to an RCMP press release.

An officer from Summerland briefly gave chase, but broke off the pursuit due to excessive speed. The officer alerted colleagues to the south, who also tried to catch up with the man in Penticton on the Channel Parkway, but they too gave up because of concern for public safety.

Later, a Mountie clocked the suspect vehicle travelling 140 km/h in an 80 km/h zone on Highway 97 near Oliver. A police cruiser was also damaged during an attempt to stop the Explorer.

Officers from three RCMP detachments regrouped and focused their efforts in Oliver.

“It was a keen sense of observation and good instinct that paid off, when plainclothes Penticton officers observed a nervous male filling up a gas can at the Oliver 7-11 gas station,” said Sgt. Ken Harrington, the RCMP area commander.

“Acting on the odds of probability and police intuition, investigators covertly observed and followed the male who walked away from the pumps and led them back to the suspect vehicle.”

The driver, who’s name has not been released, is expected to appear in Penticton provincial court on Monday to face charges related to the chase. Mounties said the man, who lived most recently in Kamloops, also had eight outstanding warrants for his arrest in Manitoba.