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Police make arrest after days chasing fleeing suspect

Manitoulin OPP said Blenheim man fled an accident and stole two ATVs while in possession of methamphetamine
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A wild two days of searching by Manitoulin OPP officers finally led to the arrest of a Blenheim man police say led them on a chase around Espanola.

The incident began on Aug. 9 at around 1:50 p.m. when OPP received a complaint of a vehicle hauling a trailer on Highway 17 in Baldwin Township that was having trouble staying in its lane.

OPP officers located the vehicle in short order and pulled it over. 

“As the officer approached the vehicle, the driver fled from the scene in the vehicle continuing along Highway 17,” OPP said in a news release. “As police patrolled the area for the vehicle, officers were advised that the subject vehicle was involved in a motor vehicle collision with another vehicle.”

The vehicle fled the scene of the crash, police report. No injuries were reported as a result.

Police continued to hunt for the suspect and eventually came upon the vehicle, which the suspect had apparently abandoned. 

A man fitting the suspect’s description was spotted by officers driving an ATV along a street in Espanola. A canine unit was brought in to assist with the search, as was the detachment’s Emergency Response Unit.

Officers weren’t able to locate the ATV or the driver, however, though a member of the public reported finding another, different ATV abandoned. By the time officers arrived at that location the ATV was gone.

Then on Aug. 11, one of the two missing ATVs was located in Mongowin Township, again without the suspect. The search continued.

The Manitoulin OPP Community Street Crime Unit continued investigating. They eventually located the other missing ATV — this time, however, the suspect was riding it and he was arrested.

The 37-year-old resident of Blenheim resident was charged with:

  • Dangerous Operation;
  • Flight from Peace Officer;
  • Operation While Prohibited (two counts);
  • Possession Property Obtained by Crime Over $5,000;
  • Trafficking in Property Obtained by Crime;
  • Possession of a Schedule I Substance - Methamphetamine, and;
  • Engage in Prohibited Activity on Premises.

The accused was held for a bail hearing and is scheduled to appear before the Ontario Court of Justice in Espanola on Sept. 12.