RCMP recovered this Mitsubishi Outlander last Thursday. It had been hijacked from a woman two days earlier at the scene of a school bus collision near Springbrook. The suspect remains at large. Photo contributed

Carjacked SUV found, suspect still at large

SUV carjacked after bus collision near Springbrook found last week

A sport utility vehicle carjacked last week near Springbrook has been found, but the possibly armed and dangerous culprit remains at large.

RCMP said the Mitsubishi Outlander stolen at gunpoint from a Springbrook woman at the scene of a school bus collision last Tuesday was found in Sylvan Lake two days later.

“It was located abandoned,” said RCMP media spokesperson Cpl. Laurel Scott. The suspect has not yet been found.

The Springbrook woman, who was forced to give up her vehicle to a masked man pointing a handgun, said she was relieved her vehicle was found, but is uneasy at the thought her assailant is still on the loose somewhere.

“That’s kind of scary,” said Jennifer, who preferred her last name not be used.

Jennifer was driving to work around 8 a.m. on Jan. 22 when she stopped to help at the scene of a head-on crash between a stolen flatbed truck and a Chinook’s Edge School Division bus carrying seven children to Penhold schools. Two children were treated on scene for minor injuries.

The man driving the truck is wanted by police for a string of crimes stretching over a week from Drumheller to Bashaw and Delburne. RCMP are asking if anyone saw the flatbed truck between Jan. 15, when it was stolen from a Fountain Tire outlet, and the day of the collision.

Police said on Jan. 16, the truck was involved in a break-in at an Esso station in Bashaw and an attempted fuel theft near Delburne, during which the culprit fired shots as he made his getaway.

Jennifer said she was notified by police on Friday that her vehicle had been found in a parking lot in Sylvan Lake. RCMP forensics experts had already gone through the SUV, which she was told appeared undamaged from the outside.

She has yet to see her vehicle, which remains in a tow yard, to check if anything is damaged or missing. She had a favourite coffee mug and some prized sunglasses inside.

“It’s nice to to know (it was found). I’m just hoping he just drove it from Springbrook to Sylvan Lake and that was it, and just left it in great condition and everything is going to be great,” she said.

Her SUV must be released to her insurance company before she gets it back.

The ordeal has taken its toll.

“It’s been very long. I feel like this week has been like 27 days so far.”

The male suspect is described as Caucasian, about five foot 11, with dark wavy hair. He was wearing a black bandana pulled up to cover the lower half of his face. He was wearing a dark jacket with the hood up and dark cargo pants.

Anyone with information on the suspect or the whereabouts of the Fountain Tire truck between Jan. 15 and 22 should call Blackfalds RCMP at 403-885-3333.



pcowley@reddeeradvocate.com

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