Highway 16 was closed the morning of March 10 east of Burns Lake following the end of an extended pursuit of a man suspected of stealing multiple vehicles. (Laura Blackwell photo)

Vehicle theft suspect remains in jail

Charged with six offences, including obstructing police

The man accused of a string of offences, including vehicle thefts, from Terrace through to Smithers, Houston and Burns Lake last week remains in custody.

James Webb, 38, of Prince George faces six criminal files following a series of incidents which began the afternoon of March 9 in Terrace and ending in the early morning hours of March 10 with his arrest on Hwy16 east of Burns Lake.

Webb first appeared in Burns Lake court March 10 with his case being adjourned to March 13 for a bail hearing in Smithers where it was then agreed he should remain in custody until another appearance on March 24.

The six charges are motor vehicle theft, dangerous driving, fleeing police, driving while disqualified, driving while impaired by a drug or alcohol and obstructing a police officer.

Multiple RCMP detachments reaching east of Terrace to Fraser Lake eventually became involved in the incidents which began the afternoon of March 9 with the theft of a white Ford F250 pickup from Terrace.

It was left behind in Smithers when another Ford pickup, a black F350 was reported stolen. That vehicle was then left behind at Hungry Hill east of Smithers when a suspect then took a Ford F150 and headed toward Houston.

“It was also reported that there was the possibility of firearms and other weapons in this stolen Ford F150,” a RCMP release outlining the incidents indicated.

This vehicle was also left behind when a Chevy 3500 was taken, eventually becoming involved in a crash in Houston.

And that was followed up by the theft of a GMC 2500 from the Summit Lake Road area with a suspect continuing to head eastward of Houston on Hwy16.

Burns Lake RCMP officers spotted that vehicle in the parking lot of the hospital in Burns Lake but the driver fled with officers then locating the vehicle after it crashed east of Burns Lake just after midnight March 10.

“A short time later, police were alerted to a nearby residence as someone was yelling that their snowmobile was being stolen. As police made their way to the residence, the stolen sled drove at a high rate of speed directly at the police, narrowly missing two police cars vehicles, fleeing down trails where the police vehicles could not go,” the RCMP release stated.

At approximately 12:30 a.m. on March 10 police were told that someone stole a Dodge plow truck and headed east of Burns Lake, leaving a snowmobile behind.

Officers then spotted the vehicle stopped on Hwy16 and as “police positioned the police vehicles in a manner to prevent the suspect from fleeing, the suspect rammed one police vehicle and then reversed and rammed the second police vehicle,” the RCMP release stated.

The suspect was arrested at gunpoint due to the possibility of firearms being present in one of the stolen vehicles.

The person arrested was treated with a non-life threatening injury and a RCMP officer also suffered a non-life threatening injury.

Police also seized drugs which they believe to be methamphetamine.

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