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Stolen van towing stolen boat recovered by Okanagan RCMP, two arrests made

Stolen van and boat suspect arrested along beach in West Kelowna
Police say the recovery of a stolen van and a stolen boat unfolded when an officer spotted the stolen boat being towed. One of the suspects was later arrested while trying to hide under an inflatable boat.

Police officers, RCMP air services, a police dog and the public all played roles in the arrests of two Kelowna men after a stolen boat and van were recovered this week.

The arrests unfolded on Wednesday, at approximately 1 p.m., when a Kelowna officer spotted a stolen boat being towed across the William R. Bennett bridge into West Kelowna.

Further, a stolen passenger van, a full-sized Ford E350 from Kelowna, was towing the stolen boat, a white, 24-foot Searay from Summerland.

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“The suspect driver of the stolen van refused to stop for police and continued down Westside Road after crossing the bridge over Okanagan Lake,” said Kelowna RCMP Cpl. Jesse O’Donaghey.

“The van was located, a short time later, stopped in the middle of Lindley Drive, where officers took one male occupant into police custody without incident.”

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O’Donaghey said a containment area was then set up, and that air services and a canine team were brought in to help search for the second suspect, who fled the van on foot.

He noted the lakefront-area search, with many families out enjoying the beach in the extreme heat, was challenging for the police dog.

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However, O’Donaghy added “thanks to an observant area resident, police later located and arrested their second suspect hidden underneath an inflatable boat in the immediate area.”

Police stated the two men, a 33-year-old and a 39-year-old, are expected to appear in court at a later date.