A driver is facing 36 charges after allegedly leading police on a lengthy chase across central Alberta.
The incident began just before 5 p.m. Aug. 25, when Bashaw RCMP received a report of a stolen truck on the eastern edge of Ponoka County.
A short time later, it was reported the suspect had stolen a firearm and a wallet from an unlocked vehicle in Camrose County. At that point, additional RCMP units were deployed.
Despite that, the suspect evaded police, abandoning that truck and entering at least seven other area properties during the chase, stealing multiple vehicles that were not locked and had the keys in the ignition.
As the chase went on, the RCMP’s emergency response team and police dog units were added to the pursuit.
However, due to the length of the chase and the growing risk from the driving pattern and high speeds, the suspect eluded officers. The RCMP helicopter had to refuel, according to police.
Search efforts were not successful until Aug. 26, when officers executed a search warrant on a Ponoka home and arrested the suspect.
Cody Alan Feil, 32, of Ponoka, is facing 36 charges, including criminal flight from police, vehicle theft and various traffic safety violations.
He was also wanted on five outstanding warrants. He was denied bail and will remain in custody until his court appearance in Wetaskiwin on Sept. 8.
Bashaw RCMP Sgt. Bruce Holliday was happy the incident, which extended into many police jurisdictions, ended safely.
“This was an excellent example of investigators from multiple detachments … collaboratively working together,” said Holliday, who added nine stolen vehicles were recovered during the investigation.
Holliday said the incident may have been avoided if residents didn’t make it easy for this type of crime to occur.
“The Bashaw RCMP are aware of the increased activity during our important harvest time,” he said.
“But please remain vigilant and remove keys from vehicles and secure your properties to prevent incidents of theft. Together, we can make a difference in crime prevention in our rural communities.”