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12/17/19 Nova Scotia, CAN – Pick Up Truck Fled Checkpoint – Lost In Chase – Found Next Day – Man And Woman In Handcuffs Steal RCMP Unmarked Police Car – Chase – Crashes – Crossed Median – 4 Police Cars Damaged

December 17, 2019

www.thechronicleherald.ca

A wanted man and woman are back in custody after they took off in an unmarked RCMP vehicle when they were first arrested on Tuesday in Pictou County.

They were eventually caught just before noon after a chase into oncoming traffic on Highway 104 that forced officers to push the vehicle into the median to end the pursuit, according to a Nova Scotia RCMP release. 

Four police vehicles in total were damaged in the incident and traffic between Exits 18A and 19 was reduced to one lane in both directions. No injuries were reported.

The sequence of events that led to the dramatic chase began in the early hours of Sunday morning when a pickup truck fled from a police checkpoint in Lower Truro at about 1:50 a.m., according to the release. Investigators determined that the licence plate on the pickup was stolen and initially chased the truck but called off the pursuit a short time later.

On Monday, a member of the Antigonish District RCMP went to the Purl Brook area to check addresses related to the suspects and spotted the pickup near a home. The officer found stolen property in the home but discovered that the suspects had gone on foot to a neighbouring property. When RCMP went there, they found more stolen goods. The truck and the stolen items were seized but the suspects were not found, although police were told they were in the area.

Late Tuesday morning, RCMP found the two suspects in the same area and arrested them. They were handcuffed and put in the back of the unmarked police vehicle. The two were somehow able to get from the back seat to the front and steal the vehicle.

RCMP spokeswoman Cpl. Jennifer Clarke said Tuesday afternoon that the unmarked vehicle did not have a barrier between front and back as a normal police car would. She had no information to offer on how the suspects were able to steal it while handcuffed or if the vehicle had been left running.

The release said additional RCMP officers were dispatched to the area and the vehicle was eventually located on Highway 104.

“A pursuit was initiated, and the suspect vehicle eventually crossed the median into oncoming traffic,” it said. “The responding RCMP officers pushed the suspect vehicle into the median with their vehicles due to the high risk to public safety. Neither the suspects nor any police officers were injured. The suspects were taken into custody and were transported to Antigonish Detachment.”

The two suspects, a 22-year-old woman and a 22-year-old man, both from Alberta, were scheduled to appear in Antigonish provincial court on Wednesday. The investigation is ongoing.