Some excellent teamwork between members of the NWPD patrol division, Street Crime Unit and RCMP regional police helicopter Air 1 resulted in the arrest of two auto theft suspects and the recovery of a stolen vehicle.
On Tuesday, July 16th, 2013 at approximately 11:10 am, a uniformed NWPD patrol officer located a stolen GMC Jimmy parked in the 400 block of Columbia Street. A lone female was observed to be sitting in the front passenger seat of the vehicle, which had been stolen from Burnaby the previous day.
The patrol member immediately called for assistance to place the vehicle under surveillance in case the suspect driver returned. Plainclothes members of the NWPD Street Crime Unit quickly attended the scene and began watching for the suspect. Air 1, the Lower Mainland police helicopter, was also available and arrived in short order to provide assistance tracking the stolen vehicle in the event it went mobile.
After several minutes, a male suspect returned to the vehicle, got into the driver’s seat and began driving. The Street Crime Unit members and Air 1 maintained covert surveillance on the vehicle for about 15 minutes as it made its way through New Westminster and eventually into Burnaby. The vehicle was then observed parking in the 7400 block of Southwynde Avenue, at which time both occupants exited and began walking away. Street Crime Unit members then moved in and took both suspects into custody without incident. The driver, a twenty-nine year old Surrey resident was held in custody pending a morning court appearance in New Westminster Provincial Court.
“When dealing with stolen vehicles, police officers must constantly weigh the need to apprehend the suspects against the risk presented to the public,” said Staff-Sergeant Paul Hyland. Auto theft suspects will often try to avoid apprehension by engaging in vehicle pursuits when they see uniform police officers or marked police vehicles. These pursuits can be extremely hazardous, and place the public, the police and the suspects at increased risk for serious injury. This is a great example of our members working together along with Air 1 to avoid a dangerous pursuit and getting these property crime offenders into custody in the safest manner possible.”