A man wanted Canada-wide for parole violations and a person of interest in connection with a fire in a Kamloops motel room was arrested by RCMP in Grand Forks this past Monday.
Police across Southern Interior communities had followed tips on the man as he drove his pickup truck from Kamloops, through the Okanagan and into Grand Forks, a community of 4,000 near the Canada/U.S. border, 125 kilometres east of Osoyoos.
On Jan. 30, a fire broke out in a room at the Travelodge motel in Aberdeen. The man registered to the room was seen leaving in a black pickup truck with an Alberta licence plate as the fire burned and Kamloops Mounties were looking for him, stating it was unclear whether the fire was intentionally set or the result of an accident. Firefighters contained the fire to the one room and there were no injuries.
This past Sunday, Kelowna RCMP received a driving complaint that involved a black Dodge pickup truck with an Alberta licence plate. The vehicle was located, but the driver sped away when police attempted to pull it over. At that time, it was learned that the vehicle was registered to a man wanted Canada-wide for parole violations.
Later the same day, RCMP in Greenwood received a driving complaint involving the same black Dodge pickup and, with the help of Midway and Grand Forks Mounties, found the truck abandoned in Grand Forks, with no sign of its driver.
A Grand Forks RCMP constable was on her way to work on Monday when she spotted a man fitting the suspect’s description. The constable, who had heard the call to be on the lookout for the suspect, immediately called for assistance.
“When we called the suspect by name, he asked why police asked for identification if they already knew who he was,” said an RCMP spokesperson, noting the man was arrested without incident and is in custody, with various charges, including parole violation, pending.
The investigation into the fire in Kamloops continues.
“This was an excellent example of officer awareness that resulted in the peaceful arrest of a dangerous and wanted individual,” said West Kootenay RCMP acting Insp. Chad Badry. “Just because we are not on shift doesn’t mean we turn off the radar!”