A car chase through Nanaimo city streets ended with police vehicles ramming and stopping a stolen van on the parkway Saturday. (GREG SAKAKI/The News Bulletin)

A car chase through Nanaimo city streets ended with police vehicles ramming and stopping a stolen van on the parkway Saturday. (GREG SAKAKI/The News Bulletin)

Police ram stolen van, arrest suspect at gunpoint on Vancouver Island highway

Officers make arrest with guns drawn at Nanaimo Parkway and Mostar Road

A car chase through Nanaimo city streets ended with police vehicles ramming and stopping a stolen van on the parkway Saturday.

Two people were arrested and are in police custody following the incident, which started just before noon in the Applecross Road area.

Passers-by heard a woman who seemed to be in distress inside a camper van, and as police arrived, a chase began.

“As soon as they saw the police car, a male jumped into the driver’s seat of the van and took off,” said Const. Gary O’Brien, Nanaimo RCMP spokesman. “We didn’t know whether she was being abducted, assaulted or what not. We were certainly within our grounds to pursue that vehicle and we did.”

The van drove erratically and police followed it to the intersection of the Nanaimo Parkway, Mostar Road and Jingle Pot Road and officers “had to ram the vehicle several times” before it was blocked in on the southbound lanes of the parkway.

“The male refused to leave the vehicle,” O’Brien said. “Our members, with their firearms drawn, they actually had to physically remove him from the vehicle and he continued to fight at that point.”

A male and female suspect were arrested at the scene; the man had outstanding warrants. O’Brien said the male suspect was initially taken to hospital for treatment of a pre-existing injury, but is now in cells at the detachment. The man and woman, both from Parksville, face charges that could include flight from police and possession of stolen property.

One RCMP vehicle was wrecked, another sustained damage, and a civilian vehicle was also damaged in the incident.

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editor@nanaimobulletin.com

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