A man in a canoe was apprehended by police after he allegedly crashed a stolen truck, fled, stole a canoe, then drifted into the Portage Inlet.
At around 9 a.m. Thursday morning, West Shore RCMP were called to a report of a man walking on the concrete barriers on the Trans-Canada Highway near the Old Island Highway Overpass.
While West Shore RCMP officers were going to the scene, they were advised that two people had talked the man off the railing but then the man allegedly stole one the complainant’s vehicles, a Grey F150 truck, and took off at a high rate of speed.
Police said the man crashed the truck into a telephone pole at the Helmcken Road and the Trans-Canada Highway intersection. According to police, the man then left the truck, ran away and stole a canoe from a residence on Chancellor Avenue. West Shore RCMP officers found the man drifting into the Portage Inlet. He appeared to not have any paddles on board the canoe.
Officers negotiated with the man to give himself up. The man eventually swam to police and was taken into custody. He is undergoing a mental health assessment.
“We want to thank View Royal Fire Department and the BC Ambulance Services who were on scene and ready to assist. The View Royal Fire Department was in the process of deploying their boat into the water when the male gave himself up,” Const. Nancy Saggar, media relations officer with the West Shore RCMP, said in a release.
Police are still gathering evidence and are asking anyone with information about the incident to call West Shore RCMP at 250-474-2264 or report anonymously though Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477.
While some officers were responding to this incident, others were also dealing with a suspicious package at the bus stop on Goldstream Avenue at Jacklin Avenue and another was a report of a truck driving down the Trans-Canada Highway in the opposite lane against traffic. Police said the events were unrelated but all took place at the same time.
“We want to also thank the Integrated Road Safety Unit (IRSU) for assisting in locating the truck travelling down the wrong side of the highway. Today’s events highlight the challenges of police work and managing priority calls,” Saggar said.