A 31-year-old Surrey man arrested in Maple Ridge after ramming two police cars in two separate stolen vans started his crime spree in Langley, where he is linked to an attempted car jacking and robbery on Sunday morning.
“Police have uncovered evidence that links this suspect to a violent robbery that took place in Langley a matter of minutes before Ridge Meadows RCMP officers spotted the stolen van the suspect was driving,” said Ridge Meadows RCMP Insp. David Fleugel.
It’s believed the suspect jumped inside a parked vehicle at a gas station. A passenger was inside. He attempted to carjack the vehicle, said police. Bystanders at the gas station came to the aid of the passenger and the car’s owner.
The suspect did manage to steal items from that vehicle before he was able to get back into his stolen van and drive off towards Golden Ears Bridge, said Fleugel.
Langley RCMP notified Ridge Meadows officers that the suspect was on his way over the river.
“It was through excellent communication that Ridge Meadows detachment members knew to look for this vehicle, and the due diligence shown by these police officers that resulted in the arrest and charges,” said Fleugel.
It was around midnight when Ridge Meadows RCMP found a stolen van on Eagle Avenue.
An officer in an unmarked police car followed the van to Cherrywood Drive, when without warning the driver reversed the van into the police car.
Police allege the man then drove towards the end of the cul-de-sac where he abandoned the van and stole a second van in an attempt to flee.
While was trying to escape, the man crashed the second van into another police cruiser, causing the van to flip onto its side.
The man was arrested following the crash. RCMP also fired at the vehicle to stop his escape.
Because police fired shots, the Independent Investigations Office is investigating.
Supt. Dave Walsh stressed that at no time were police involved in a pursuit.
“During the incident a police officer discharged his service pistol. The suspect was not injured due to the discharge of the police firearm, but did sustain minor injuries in the crashes,” Walsh added.
The man was treated in hospital and remains in police custody. He was scheduled to appear in court on Monday.
“Police investigators are aware of other similar occurrences in different locations of the Lower Mainland that this suspect may have been involved in. These investigators are liaising with RCMP detachments and municipal police agencies. Suffice to say, police have taken a dangerous person off the street,” said Fleugel.
The man is facing numerous charges and was also in violation of a conditional sentence order, as well as having an outstanding arrest warrant.