(File photo)

(File photo)

RCMP: Man, 41, faces charges after pickup’s wild ride along Vancouver Island highway

Residents in Qualicum Bay and Bowser called police; replica gun recovered

A 41-year-old man faces a dozen charges for weapons and property offences after the Oceanside RCMP received multiple reports from residents in Qualicum Bay and Bowser of a suspicious pickup truck on Highway 19A.

Sgt. Shane Worth, Operations Support NCO for the Oceanside RCMP detachment, said the calls came at approximately 5:30 a.m. on Nov. 12.

Worth said the first caller reported what was believed to be a man in medical distress and BC Ambulance was called. The man drove away heading north on Highway 19A in a truck before the ambulance arrived.

The second caller reported the same pickup had crashed on the highway and a man exited before getting back in the vehicle and continuing north. The driver reportedly tried to punch a passerby who stopped to check on him, said Worth.

The third call was from a business in the 6900 block of Island Highway West in Bowser, reporting the same truck had driven into their fence, causing damage. The driver ran away and a female passenger remained inside the truck. It was reported the man may have been in possession of a handgun.

READ MORE: Early morning surveillance video captures youths running amok in Parksville

Oceanside RCMP members arrived and arrested the female.

Police Dog Services and Emergency Response Team members attended the scene. A police dog tracked the suspect to the area of the Bowser Legion where he was arrested while breaking into a parked vehicle. A replica handgun was recovered.

The truck the man was driving had been reported stolen from Duncan on Nov. 9 and a rifle located inside the vehicle had been reported stolen from Campbell River on Nov. 11.

Subsequent investigation has determined the man, using the same stolen pickup, had broken into a fenced compound in the 1000 block of Herring Gull Way, Parksville as well as a trespass incident in the 1400 block of Cimarron Court, Parksville in the hours preceding his arrest.

The woman was released from custody to appear in court at a later date. The 41-year-old man appeared before a justice and was remanded in custody to appear on Tuesday (Nov. 16) on a dozen charges for weapons and property offences.

— NEWS Staff

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