Cold, snowy and dark conditions didn’t stop Kelowna RCMP from arresting two stolen vehicle suspects following an hours-long backcountry search on Monday evening.
Police say the intensive search involved a stolen 2004 Ford F350 and saw officers searching for the suspects through inclement weather and snow-covered terrain.
According to police, the truck was reported as being stolen overnight from the Kelowna area on Nov. 7.
Two days later, on Nov. 9, officers located the stolen truck being driven in the Rutland area, around 1 p.m.
Police air services tracked the vehicle as it proceeded down a forest service road in the Myra Canyon area, with the male driver and female passenger abandoning it and fleeing into the woods on foot.
“Front-line officers, who grew increasingly concerned for the couple’s well-being, launched a ground search of the backcountry for the man and woman who did not appear to be prepared for the adverse weather conditions, with darkness setting in,” said Cpl. Jocelyn Noseworthy.
The search included Police Dog Services and air support.
Police say the two were located in the woods around 9 p.m. and were taken into custody without further incident.
“Despite suffering from mild exposure to the elements, the two were uninjured,” said police.
The 36-year-old Kelowna man was kept in custody and was slated to appear in court on Tuesday. The 26-year-old Kelowna woman was released for a future court date.
Police say the matter has been sent to prosecutors for charge approval.
“This was a long and intensive search,” said Cpl. Guillaume Tanguay of the Kelowna RCMP’s Target Team.
“Because of the coordinated effort, we were able to bring this to a safe conclusion for everyone involved.”