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Spree ends in flames

One man is in custody and Vernon RCMP continue to thoroughly investigate six separate crimes, including a home invasion, between 9 a.m. and 2 p.m. Monday.

The common link between the six offences was the use of the same stolen vehicle to commit the crimes.

Police first responded to the complaint of the stolen vehicle at 9:05 a.m. A 1991 Chevy pick-up, gray in colour, with B.C. licence plate number 9283 HT with Adriatic Granite & Marble written on the side and tailgate, in white lettering, was reported stolen over the weekend from a home on 45th Avenue.

An hour later, at 10:30 a.m., the truck was involved in a gas and dash from the Safeway Gas Bar on 32nd Street. Two caucasian males were spotted, one was heavy set, about 25-years-old with a shaved head.

Thirty minutes later, at 11:05 a.m., the same truck was spotted at the scene of a home invasion in the 3800 block of 15th Avenue. Two males forced their way into the residence by kicking in the front door, bear sprayed an elderly Indo-Canadian male in the home, and stole items from the residence.

The same truck was then involved in a second gas and dash from the Esso on 34th Street and 25th Avenue, at 2 p.m. Witnesses again described the same suspect.

Just minutes later, the same vehicle was associated again with a robbery at the Village Market on 32nd Street. Two males, wearing hoodies, entered the store and tried to take money from the till, but ended up stealing a lady's purse. The heavy-set male was described as wearing a grey sweatshirt, about 5-foot-8 and wearing jeans. The second male is simply described as being 5-foot-8.

At 2:10 p.m., police responded to a vehicle fire at Regency Gardens on Okanagan Avenue.

"The culprits had finally decided the stolen vehicle was too hot so they set fire to it and fled on foot," reported Vernon RCMP Cpl. Henry Proce.

A police service dog was called to the scene and established a track, leading police to a nearby residence on 24th Avenue where a male was taken into custody.

No charges have been laid, as of Tuesday morning, but the police investigation continues.

Anybody with any information on the vehicle or the suspects is urged to call the Vernon RCMP at 545-7171 or Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-TIPS (8477).

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