An alert from a video surveillance system to an out-of-town homeowner’s cellphone touched off a dramatic sequence of events near Sundre, Alta., as relatives attempted to prevent the car thieves from escaping.
Police are now searching for two suspects, a man and a woman, along with a stolen pickup truck.
The homeowner, who is out of the country, called his father just after 10:30 a.m. Thursday to say a dark Lexus with two people inside was parked in front of his home in the Eagle Hill area just east of Sundre, about 115 kilometres northwest of Calgary.
When the father arrived, he saw someone driving his son’s truck out of the garage.
He used his own vehicle to try to block the truck from leaving down the long driveway.
The homeowner’s brother arrived soon after and saw a man and woman making off in the Lexus and the truck.
The thieves drove around the father’s truck and fled, with him and his son in pursuit.
“The thieves encountered a third family member of the homeowner who had used her vehicle to block their exit,” read an RCMP release.
“Thieves managed to drive through the ditch and around that vehicle and onto the main road heading north.”
Pursuit down dead-end road
The family members gave chase and the vehicles headed down a dead-end road.
The family members used their vehicles to block the road and wait for the other two vehicles to return.
When that happened, the woman driving the Lexus tried to go around them and got stuck in the ditch. Police say she jumped out and got into the stolen truck.
The man in the stolen truck then pointed a sawed-off, small calibre rifle at the family members and demanded they get out of the way.
They refused and the man drove through the ditch, where he got stuck for a short time before fleeing in the pickup. One of the family members managed to take a photo of the suspect.
Suspects armed and dangerous
Police say the truck will have damage to the front driver side and front passenger side.
The man is described as white, in his mid to late 20s with a slim build, light brown hair and a moustache. He was wearing brown Carhartt clothing, sunglasses and a beige ball cap with a dark brim.
The woman is described as white and in her early 20s. She was wearing black winter clothing and sunglasses.
Police say the pair are considered armed and dangerous and should not be approached.
The stolen pickup truck is a black 2016 GMC Sierra Duramax Diesel with Alberta plate BWL-6101 and VIN 1GT42YE8XGF288853.
Anyone with information is asked to call 911 or Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477.
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Sherwood Park is a large hamlet in Alberta, Canada within Strathcona County that is recognized as an urban service area. It is located adjacent to the City of Edmonton’s eastern boundary, generally south of Highway 16 (Yellowhead Trail), west of Highway 21 and north of Highway 630 (Wye Road). Other portions of Sherwood Park extend beyond Yellowhead Trail and Wye Road, while Anthony Henday Drive (Highway 216) separates Refinery Row to the west from the balance of the hamlet to the east.
Sherwood Park was established in 1955 on farmland of the Smeltzer family, east of Edmonton. With a population of 70,618 in 2016, Sherwood Park has enough people to be Alberta’s seventh largest city, but technically retains the status of a hamlet. The Government of Alberta recognizes the Sherwood Park Urban Service Area as equivalent to a city.
Sherwood Park, originally named Campbelltown, was founded by John Hook Campbell and John Mitchell in 1953 when the Municipal District of Strathcona No. 83 approved their proposed development of a bedroom community east of Edmonton. The first homes within the community were marketed to the public in 1955. Canada Post intervened on the name of Campbelltown due to the existence of several other communities in Canada within the same name, so the community’s name was changed to Sherwood Park in 1956.
The Sherwood Park Urban Service Area is located in the Edmonton Capital Region along the western edge of central Strathcona County adjacent to the City of Edmonton. The majority of the community is bound by Highway 16 (Yellowhead Highway) to the north, Highway 21 to the east, Highway 630 (Wye Road) to the south, and Anthony Henday Drive (Highway 216) to the west. The Refinery Row portion of Sherwood Park is located across Anthony Henday Drive to the west, between Sherwood Park Freeway and Highway 16. Numerous developments fronting the south side of Wye Road, including Wye Gardens, Wye Crossing, Salisbury Village and the Estates of Sherwood Park, are also within the community. Lands north of Highway 16 and south of Township Road 534/Oldman Creek between Range Road 232 (Sherwood Drive) to the west and Highway 21 to the east are also within the Sherwood Park urban service area.