Highway 16 was closed east of Burns Lake on March 10, 2020, following the end of an extended pursuit of a man suspected of stealing multiple vehicles. (Laura Blackwell/Black Press Media)

B.C. man arrested, Mountie hurt after string of vehicle thefts ends in police chase

Two police cars rammed as officers pursued suspect

A Prince George man is now in custody and facing multiple charges following a series of vehicle thefts that led to a police chase and subsequent arrest on Highway 16 in northern B.C. Tuesday morning.

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 a suspect after an initial report of a pickup truck being stolen from Terrace on Monday at about 5 p.m., police said, in a news release.

“Smithers RCMP received a report of a man on a bicycle that had stolen a black Ford F350,” Mounties said in a statement. “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.”

According to police, the Ford F350 was seen stopped in the Hungry Hill area just 30 minutes later. There, the suspect left that truck behind and allegedly stole a Ford F150 before heading to Houston.

“It was also reported that there was the possibility of firearms and other weapons in this stolen Ford F150,” police said.

It’s believed the same suspect was “chased away” by the owner of a property in the 5200 block of Hwy 16 for allegedly trying to steal items, just after 8:44 p.m.

“The suspect left the Ford F150 behind and took a Chevy 3500. This vehicle was later involved in a crash in Houston.”

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.

At 11:27 p.m. on Monday, 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 on Tuesday, 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,” police said. “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.”

Just after 12:30 a.m., police were told that someone stole a Dodge plow truck from Bartlett Road, heading further east of Burns Lake. A snowmobile was left behind nearby, police said.

Officers then spotted the vehicle stopped on Hwy 16 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,” Mounties said.

The suspect, a 38-year-old man, was arrested and remains in custody, police said.

Officers seized drugs, according to RCMP, which are suspected to be methamphetamine.

The suspect was taken to hospital for injuries sustained in the crash. He was later released to police custody.

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

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