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Suspected vehicle thief in Northern Alberta stopped with spike belt five days after release from custody

A tire deflation device was used to halt a 100 kilometre pursuit in Northern Alberta Wednesday morning.

LAKELAND - A Glendon area man is in custody and facing multiple charges after St. Paul RCMP and police from various detachments across the Lakeland responded to a stolen vehicle report on Feb. 7.

St. Paul RCMP were contacted that morning at 8:30 am by the owner of a pickup truck who said their vehicle had been stolen from the Edmonton area earlier that morning. The owner told police that the truck's GPS tracker showed it was in the town of St. Paul. Police quickly located the vehicle, and conducted surveillance as the vehicle left the town and headed north on Highway 881.

The truck turned towards Therien and police followed as it continued on back-roads. Police say the truck eventually turned eastbound Highway 55 and accelerated quickly, reaching speeds exceeding 160 kph as police followed.

Tires blown

Numerous RCMP resources, including Cold Lake and Bonnyville Detachments, the Eastern Alberta District-Crime Reduction Unit, Cold Lake and St Paul Police Dog Services) and a member from the Integrated Offender Management Program assisted. Police ahead of the speeding vehicle near the community of La Corey managed to put down a tire deflation device that eventually disabled the vehicle.

Police say the driver, and lone occupant of the vehicle ran from the truck. He was tracked by police dogs to a garden shed near a La Corey home. During the arrest, police say they found a small quantity of drugs, believed to be fentanyl and meth, on the suspect.

Twice in a week

The initial investigation also revealed that the suspect had been previously released on unrelated matters five days earlier, on conditions to not be found behind the wheel of a motor vehicle.

James Edward Blondeau, of Glendon, is facing 10 charges, including dangerous operation of a vehicle, flight from police, possession of stolen property, break and enter, resisting arrest, possession of a controlled substance and disobeying court orders.

His first court appearance was slated for this week, with the case being deferred to a later date. Blondeau remains in custody until his next court date.

St. Paul RCMP detachment commanding officer Sgt. Robert Burgess said the partnership of various police personnel that lead to the successful and safe arrest of a suspect following a 100 kilometre pursuit on public roads and highways is a testament to the experience of local law enforcement.

“Police consistently deal with high risk individuals, who because of their choices and behaviours, put the public, themselves and police at risk. The collaborative effort by the RCMP detachments and units involved, resulted in the successful and safe apprehension of this person," said Burgess. "Our members consistently put themselves in harms way to arrest individuals like this and it’s important that the public knows what we are up against."

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