On July 7, 2014 at approximately 9:27 P.M., an Ontario Provincial Police officer conducting speed enforcement on the Queen Elizabeth Way in the Town of Lincoln attempted to stop a speeding Toyota Sienna van. The van failed to stop for the officer and exited the QEW, turning southbound on Victoria Ave. Due to concerns for public safety, the officer discontinued the pursuit of the unidentified vehicle.
Niagara Regional Police were subsequently contacted by civilian witnesses who reported the speeding van struck a series of construction barricades while travelling at high speed southbound on Victoria Ave. in the area of Frederick Av.
At approximately 9:30 P.M., police were contacted by civilian witnesses who reported that the van had lost control, crashing into a ditch and rolling over on Victoria Av., south of Moyer Rd., in the Town of Lincoln. 3 occupants were subsequently observed fleeing from the vehicle. An extensive search of the area by the Niagara Regional Police K9 Unit and uniform officers was unsuccessful in immediately locating the suspects.
Early this morning (Tuesday, July 8) about 5:50 a.m., an alert citizen tipped off Niagara Regional Police leading to the arrest of a 17-year-old who was at the wheel of a stolen van which crashed on Victoria Avenue in Vineland after fleeing a police pursuit.
The resident contacted police to report that three individuals were in the area of Victoria Ave. and Fly Rd., indicating they were lost and seeking assistance. Uniform officers immediately attended the area and placed the three suspects from the earlier collision under arrest.
The continued investigation of this incident revealed that the involved vehicle had been reported stolen in Peel Region on June 26, 2014. A number of other incidents in the Regions of Peel, Halton and Niagara involving the stolen vehicle remain under investigation.
The 17-year-old male driver of the stolen van, who cannot be identified due to the provisions of the Youth Criminal Justice Act, has been charged by Niagara Regional Police with the Criminal Code offences of Possession of Property Obtained By Crime Over $5,000 and Failing To Remain At The Scene of An Accident. Additional charges in Niagara are possible following further investigation.
The male was released to the custody of Peel Regional Police detectives for the purposes of a bail hearing in that jurisdiction with respect to additional charges.
The other two occupants of the van were released unconditionally after it was determined that they were unaware the van they had been travelling in was stolen until such time as the driver failed to stop for police.
Niagara Regional Police wish to thank members of the public who contacted police to report their observations, which played a vital role in the investigation and apprehension of this individual.
This matter remains under investigation in Niagara by members of the 8 District Detective Services Unit. Anyone with information is asked to contact detectives at 905-945-2211 Ext. 5400.