RCMP helicopter used to track alleged thieves in Penticton

A chase starting with bike patrols and eventually involving an RCMP chopper had multiple suspects in custody.

A chase starting with bike patrols and eventually involving an RCMP chopper had multiple suspects in custody after a stolen vehicle was located in Penticton.

On the morning of May 31, Penticton RCMP spotted a 2001 Ford F350 with a lift kit, checking its license plate, which initially raised no suspicion. Shortly afterward it was discovered the vehicle had been reported stolen out of Kelowna.

Police kept an eye out for the vehicle and Cpl. Ted Manchulenko and Const. Bruce Matatall located the vehicle in the vicinity of the Okanagan College Penticton campus, while on bike patrols, chasing the vehicle on their bicycles.

Two suspects bailed out of the vehicle during the chase and were subsequently arrested. Police located a substantial amount of methamphetamine and $1,000 cash was also discovered supporting charges of possession for the purpose of trafficking, police said.

The remaining suspects in the vehicle took of into Penticton Indian Band lands via Green Mountain Road. At that point RCMP members from Summerland and Keremeos joined the search, locating the vehicle which was undamaged and abandoned six kilometres west of Westhill Road. A dirt bike was being transported in the vehicle and the remaining two suspects proceeded to flee southbound on the dirt bike.

An RCMP helicopter, stationed out of Kelowna but in Kamloops at the time, responded and was unable to locate the dirt bike, but the passenger on the dirt bike was located by Penticton RCMP’s targeted enforcement unit.

Three people are in custody and police said they have identified the male driver who was able to escape custody and are currently getting warrants for his arrest. The investigation is ongoing.

 

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