Fraud suspect leads Olds police on one-hour chase

A police pursuit near Olds lasted about an hour before a man was arrested.

Olds RCMP responded to a complaint of a possible fraud occurring at the registries office in the town at around noon Saturday. As officers arrived, the suspect jumped into a Jeep, which was later determined to have been stolen from the Three Hills area.

The man drove the Jeep into the police vehicle, then into the registries office building, as he fled.

The suspect was chased by RCMP officers through the town and then southbound onto Highway 2. As the pursuit continued south on the highway and through county roads, officers from the Didsbury and Airdrie detachments, as well as Airdrie traffic services, were dispatched to assist.

The pursuit ended when the Jeep became stuck as it drove through a wheat field east of Crossfield. The suspect fled on foot, but was apprehended after a short pursuit on foot.

There were no injuries.

Bernard Michael Sontheim, 28, of Innisfail, has been charged with 25 Criminal Code offences, including assault with a weapon, flight from police, dangerous driving, mischief, possession of stolen property and several fraud-related offences.

Arrest warrants were also executed for more than 60 offences committed in other locations around Alberta.

Sontheim has been remanded in custody to appear in Didsbury provincial court Monday.

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