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RCMP in B.C.’s Southern Interior on lookout for police-dodging counterfeit money suspects

Police in B.C.’s Southeast District say they are searching for suspects who allegedly tried passing on counterfeit money, along with two hit-and-runs, one involving a police vehicle.
Police in B.C.’s Southeast District say they are searching for suspects who allegedly tried passing on counterfeit money, along with two hit-and-runs, one involving a police vehicle. File / Global News

Police throughout B.C.’s Southern Interior are on the lookout for suspects in a burgundy pickup truck following an alleged series of cross-jurisdictional crimes.

According to the RCMP, the suspects have been trying to pass counterfeit money in the Central and North Okanagan plus the Thompson and Nicola Valley regions.

RCMP also allege the suspects were involved in two hit-and-runs, one involving a police vehicle.

The pickup truck is described as a burgundy Ram 1500 with a stolen licence plate, KK2078. Police noted that the licence plate was stolen out of the Armstrong area.

READ MORE: Innisfil man charged after investigation into counterfeit U.S. money: police

The first incident took place on Nov. 4, at a gas station along the Trans-Canada Highway in Kamloops. There, police say a suspect tried passing on counterfeit currency.

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On Nov. 6, shortly after 8 p.m., police say officers in Merritt responded to a fraud in progress at a gas station on Airport Road. There, police say an unknown man tried passing on counterfeit Canadian and American money.

Police say a responding officer encountered the burgundy truck, which contained multiple occupants as it fled from the gas station.

“The suspect allegedly accelerated towards the responding officer and sideswiped his fully-marked police vehicle before fleeing the area eastbound, not pursued by police,” said RCMP Cpl. Jesse O’Donaghey.

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Two hours later, shortly after 10 p.m., police in West Kelowna were alerted to a hit-and-run in a parking lot along Boucherie Road that involved the burgundy truck.

The truck was seen heading towards Kelowna.

“Kelowna RCMP deployed a spike belt on the east end of the William R. Bennett Bridge in an effort to disable the suspect vehicle,” said O’Donaghey.

“The driver performed an evasive manoeuver, managed to avoid the tire deflation device and drove over the concrete median of the highway. A second motorist’s vehicle was struck as the suspect pulled a u-turn and proceeded back across the bridge span towards West Kelowna.”

Crime Stoppers asking for public help on counterfeit crimes
Crime Stoppers asking for public help on counterfeit crimes

Police did not pursue the suspect vehicle, adding the drivers in each collision were reportedly uninjured.

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O’Donaghey said if you happen to spot the burgundy truck, “we caution the public not to approach the suspect vehicle or any of its occupants.

“RCMP strongly urge the public to immediately call their local police of jurisdiction or 911 emergency.”

If you have any information about the burgundy truck or its suspects, you are asked to call Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477.