UPDATE: Suspect in fatal Hope crash wanted in connection with jewelry heist

Aldergrove woman, 30, killed in collision on Highway 3, identified as Danielle (DeeDee) Charlton

Facebook photo

A suspect still at large after a fatal crash near Hope on Monday is also wanted for an alleged jewelry heist in Nelson, police believe.

A disguised burglar brazenly smashed through the front window of Ted Allen’s jewelry store and fled with approximately $30,000 worth of merchandise Monday morning.

RCMP said the suspect stole a rental car’s licence plates around lunchtime and then crashed his stolen car – an Equinox – near Hope that afternoon, killing his female passenger.

He then left the scene in a white Ford F350 truck stolen from a passerby who stopped to help the victims of the crash, Mounties said in a statement.

The woman in her 30s who died as a result of a crash on Hwy. 3 Monday afternoon has been identified on social media as Danielle ‘Deedee’ Charlton of Aldergrove.

Charlton was involved in a collision between a maintenance truck and an Equinox SUV 10 kilometres east of Hope at about 3 p.m.

When RCMP arrived on scene, they found an Equinox SUV passenger dead and suspect that the SUV’s driver left the scene in a white Ford F350 truck stolen from a passerby who stopped to help the victims of the crash.

Police have since found the Ford truck but are still on the hunt for the suspect.

“RIP to my wife Danielle Charlton,” wrote Charlton’s husband, Charlie, in a Facebook post. “We loved you unconditionally and we forgive you for your shortfallings! We will meet again in heaven.”

The suspect is described as a 5’9 – 5’10 Caucasian male with short dark hair and stubble, wearing a red and white motorcycle-style hacket and tan coloured shorts.

According to Cst. Melissa Wutke, the suspect is believed to have travelled east towards Hope in the Ford truck before abandoning it. He is still on the loose and police are telling the public to not approach him but to dial 911 immediately.

Anyone with information is asked to contact the Fraser Valley Traffic Service RCMP at 604-702-4039, Hope RCMP at 604-869-7750 or Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477 (TIPS).

– with files from Miranda Gathercole