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Suspect arrested in rash of gas thefts

Langley RCMP arrested a 32-year-old Surrey man on Monday night who may be responsible for stealing gas from vehicles.

The arrest came after a lengthy pursuit, including two hit and run collisions and a foot chase.

It was actually the determined work of Langley citizens helping out which led to the suspect’s arrest, said police.

Around 10:15 p.m., Langley RCMP received a call about a hit and run collision at the intersection of 240 Street and Fraser Highway.

Witnesses said a Chevy Cavalier had been hit by a one tonne U-Haul truck. The driver of the Cavalier didn’t appear to be seriously injured, but was taken to hospital for precaution, said police.

The driver of the U-Haul drove north on 240 Street and three  witnesses followed, said police.

“With the invaluable assistance of the witnesses, another officer was able to locate the U-Haul near Glover Road and Logan Avenue,” said Langley RCMP Cpl. Holly Marks.

The U-Haul pulled over near the casino for police, but as the officer got out of the patrol car, the U-Haul pulled away.

The officer followed for a time and after several turns the U-Haul slowed down and the driver jumped out.

The truck collided with a building and another vehicle.

The officer gave chase on foot.

The witnesses to the collision helped the officer again, locating the man hiding in a garbage bin.

The suspect was arrested for breaching his conditions and driving while prohibited.  He was put in jail at the Langley detachment.

There was a strong odour of gasoline emanating from inside the U-Haul. When officers checked inside, they found numerous jerry cans and hoses.

A variety of other items were seized from the vehicle too, said Marks.

The investigation is ongoing and police will likely recommend a variety of charges to Crown Counsel.

“Police are not able to say for certain that the jerry cans were used for siphoning gasoline in Langley, however with the cost increasing almost daily, Langley is seeing an increase in theft of gasoline,” said Marks.

“Thieves have been siphoning gasoline and drilling through gas tanks to steal the gas. These thefts haven’t been limited to any one area of the Langleys, but do appear to take place in residential areas.”

On Oct. 5, at least three vehicles had their gas tanks drilled out on 208 Street in Walnut Grove.

Police suggest that, if possible, park vehicles indoors. When this is not an option, they ask drivers to ensure their vehicles are parked in a well-lit area.

Police are asking Langley residents to be vigilant about reporting suspicious people and vehicles.

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