A 36-year-old Edmonton man who led police on a drug-fueled foot chase across the South Peace countryside last week is expected to make his first court appearance on Thursday, according to RCMP.
The man’s 22-year-old girl friend is also set to appear before a judge July 16. Both face more than 30 combined charges of theft, break and enter, and dangerous driving, along with assaulting a police officer and resisting arrest, and Crown prosecutors are still finalizing the charges while they remain in custody.
“He was like the Energizer bunny, he just kept going and going and going,” said Dawson Creek Sgt. Ed Reinink.
Reinink says he was one of the 12-plus officers called in as part of the nearly 10-hour manhunt on July 10 that spanned the Groundbirch, Radar Lake, and Big Mountain Ski Hill areas.
At least half a dozen homes and businesses were broken into and looted for guns, ammo, and getaway vehicles before the man was arrested in a farm field Friday night. The man later admitted to being high on methamphetamine, according to Reinink.
The duo, whose names have yet to be released pending Crown approval of charges, are from the Edmonton area and have apparently blazed a long trail of crime behind them.
According to Reinink, the woman has four warrants for her arrest out of Alberta, and the man faces some 21 theft and firearms charges out of Edmonton.
Officers first ran into the duo around 10:30 a.m. after receiving a number of break and enter complaints in the Groundbirch area. The pair was stopped riding a stolen motorcycle, and while the woman was arrested without a scuffle, the man allegedly started swinging his fists at another officer, giving him enough time to evade arrest and flee to a nearby shop.
Officers were chasing after the man when he allegedly smashed a Dodge pickup through the shop’s overhead doors, narrowly missing the officers.
“He came within a foot, foot and half of another member,” said Reinink.
No police were injured, but late Friday afternoon, police advised residents in the Bear Mountain area to stay in their homes and lock their doors, as the man continued to evade police by breaking into several homes and stealing numerous vehicles.
“Our concern was this individual was breaking into houses while people were still in their houses,” Reinink said.
“Our concern was for the public safety. If he breaks in and confronts someone… the risk to the public was huge.”
The man was eventually arrested in a farm field around 7:50 p.m. after rolling and ditching several stolen quads.
He had no weapons on him at the time of arrest, according to Reinink, but admitted to being high on methamphetamine.
Reinink says the Dawson Creek area is seeing an increase in crime, particularly with break and enters, adding he plans to release details soon about another individual arrested in connection with eight break and enters.
“Lock your doors, and lock your vehicles,” Reinink said.
“Number two, make sure your stuff is insured. Some of the property (that was stolen and vandalized) wasn’t insured and those people are going to be out that amount of money.”