Police in Nanaimo arrested a man after he allegedly fled from officers and side-swiped a police car in a suspected stolen U-Haul truck.
The incident began Thursday afternoon, shortly before 1 p.m., when an RCMP officer, who was pulled over on the side of the road on Fifth Street near Lambert Avenue, saw a U-Haul truck pass by with its emergency flashing lights turned on. The truck had earlier been reported stolen when it was overdue for return at a local U-Haul dealer, according to Nanaimo RCMP.
When the officer turned on his emergency equipment to pull the truck over, the driver sped off down Howard Avenue and was driving erratically at high speed. As per RCMP policy, the officer didn’t give chase and reported the incident.
“Then it was located at the Value Village before it fled again and members, again, did not pursue the vehicle,” said Const. Gary O’Brien, Nanaimo RCMP spokesman.
The truck was spotted by police a while later near the Country Grocer at South Parkway Plaza and the driver took off again.
“The U-Haul driver continued driving erratically … it was sighted again around 3 p.m. near Weigles Road in north Nanaimo, so members attended to that area and came across the vehicle and the driver continued off again,” O’Brien said.
Police caught up with the truck when it pulled into the Tourism Nanaimo Northfield Visitors Centre parking lot.
“At that point members decided to use their police cars to box in the stolen vehicle,” O’Brien said. “The driver was uncooperative. A Taser was deployed and one of the members managed to disable the vehicle by pulling the keys out of the ignition.”
The driver allegedly continued to resist being arrested, but was eventually brought under control and was arrested for possession of stolen property. He was also under a Canada-wide driving prohibition and was allegedly also in possession of a small plastic bags containing suspected crystal methamphetamine.
The 33-year-old man, of no fixed address will appear in provincial court in Nanaimo at a later date.
The investigation into how the U-Haul, which was rented in Nanaimo, was stolen and who originally rented it, is continuing.
No police officers were reported injured in the encounter.