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Helicopter, cellphone used to track stolen Vernon vehicle: RCMP

32-year-old arrested; faces potential criminal charges after ‘crime of opportunity’
The RCMP Air Services unit was dispatched to track a stolen vehicle from Vernon April 5, 2021. (BC RCMP image)

A police helicopter using a cellphone to track a stolen vehicle’s movement landed a 32-year-old man in custody Monday.

Police said they received reports of a vehicle theft in the 3000-block of 29th Avenue at approximately 1:50 p.m., Monday, April 5.

RCMP said the owner of the vehicle left their vehicle unattended while making a brief stop at a business.

“It only took seconds before a thief took advantage of this opportunity and drove away in the truck,” media relations officer Const. Chris Terleski said.

“The owner came out to find the vehicle gone and immediately reported it to police.”

The owner’s cellphone was still in the vehicle allowing the police to track it as it travelled east on Highway 6.

RCMP Air Services unit located the vehicle and continued to track it until it made a stop on a forest service road.

“Officers from the Nakusp RCMP and Vernon North Okanagan RCMP Police Dog Services converged on the vehicle and arrested the driver without incident,” said Terleski.

The man remains in custody and faces a number of potential criminal charges.

Auto crime is predominately a crime of opportunity. Terleski said. Don’t tempt thieves. Remove valuables, lock your vehicle, and do not leave it unattended while it’s running.

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