Cain, a police service dog, has been a good boy this week helping Vernon-North Okanaagn RCMP apprehend two suspects in three days. (RCMP photo)

Vernon suspect strands himself off river bed after B&E

A break and enter investigation quickly turned into a water rescue after one suspect stranded himself on a sandbar in the Shuswap River.

On Dec 14, 2018, just before 3 p.m., the Vernon North Okanagan RCMP responded to a break and enter that occurred on Helmcken Road in Enderby where numerous items were stolen, including a firearm. Witnesses advised a white Jeep Cherokee was seen in the area just prior to the break and enter.

At approximately 6 p.m., the Vernon North Okanagan RCMP received more information from a civilian witness that the suspect vehicle had been spotted on Back Enderby Road near Graham Road. RCMP officers converged on the area and located the suspect vehicle in a ditch un-occupied.

Given the circumstances of the break and enter that occurred earlier in the day and the still outstanding firearm, officers quickly evacuated the area and set up containment for public and police officer safety, says Const. Kelly Brett.

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Shortly after the officers established containment, the RCMP Police Service Dog (PSD) Cain tracked a male suspect to where he had stranded himself on a sandbar located in the middle of the Shuswap River. The RCMP Emergency Response Team (ERT) attended the scene and used an RCMP vessel to recuse the male. The male was taken into custody without incident.

With the second suspect still outstanding, PSD Cain continued to work with his handler and eventually tracked a female to an address on Graham Road where she was arrested.

This is a situation that could have had a tragic outcome for either the suspects or any member of the public; however, the diligence of all officers involved in this incident led to both suspects being apprehended without incident and the recovery of a stolen firearm, states Const. Kelly Brett.

Justin Dionne, a 39-year-old Kelowna male, faces numerous charges including; possession of an unregistered restriction weapon, possession of a prohibited or restricted firearm with ammunition, unauthorized possession of a firearm in a motor vehicle, possession of property obtained by crime and failing to comply with probation orders.

Alexis Romanuik, a 24-year-old Enderby female, faces charges for failing to comply with conditions.

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