Commercial truck drivers along Highway 29 near Hudson’s Hope banned together to help the RCMP capture two suspects – one from Williams Lake and one from Quesnel – alleged to be fleeing from the north with stolen heavy equipment Wednesday night.
On Feb. 12, 2020 just before 8 p.m., Hudson’s Hope RCMP received a report of a traffic incident unfolding at the intersection of Highway 29 North and Farrell Creek Road, said Cpl. Jesse O’Donaghey, spokesperson for the BC RCMP.
Police were told that a white Ford one-tonne truck had been spotted travelling southbound from Wonowon towards Hudson’s Hope, towing a black flat deck trailer carrying a yellow skid steer. Police also learned the skid steer had been reported as stolen from the Fort Nelson area the night prior.
Using CB radio channels, the complainant solicited the assistance of commercial water tanker truck drivers in the area, who fully blocked the lanes of the highway at Farrell Creek Road. O’Donaghey said it is believed the suspect vehicle attempted to proceed through the ditch around the improvised blockade, but became stuck.
It was at this point the two male occupants exited the pickup truck, brandished a rifle at the bystanders and eventually fled on foot into the woods, said O’Donaghey.
RCMP officers responded from Fort St. John and Chetwynd to assist Hudson’s Hope RCMP alongside Police Dog Services to assist in the search for the suspects, believed to be armed.
An area of containment was established and the highway was shut down for public safety reasons, due to a firearm being involved, said O’Donaghey.
“We’d like to thank all those who were impacted by this closure for their patience and understanding,” he noted.
Shortly after 10 p.m. one of the two men surrendered to police. The 36-year-old Quesnel man was held in police custody overnight. Despite their efforts the second suspect was not located.
Earlier Thursday morning, the second suspect was located and taken into police custody without further incident. The 42-year-old Williams Lake man, who spent several hours exposed to the elements, remains in police custody at this time.
Both men face a number of potential property, firearms and drug related charges.
Anyone with any additional information is asked to contact the Hudson’s Hope RCMP at 250-783-5241.