Tk'emlups B&E suspect arrested after aborted swim for freedom

By James Peters
June 21, 2017 - 9:34am Updated: June 21, 2017 - 5:41pm

KAMLOOPS — A break-and-enter suspect made a swim for freedom this morning, but didn't get very far.

Kamloops RCMP say a resident of the G & M Trailer Park called police at about 6:00 a.m., reporting that they heard someone in their home.

When officers arrived, the suspect was gone, but a canine member of the Police Dog Services tracked him south to the South Thompson River, where officers saw him going into the water.

The Kamloops Fire Rescue boat was called in, and the suspect swam across the river before clinging to an old dock post.

Officers on the south bank convinced the man he would be better off on dry land, and he swam to shore, where he was arrested.

The suspect had spent a total of about 30 minutes in the water, and had to be taken to Royal Inland Hospital to be treated for hypothermia.

Cpl. Jodi Shelkie says the man was lucky to escape with only hypothermia.

"The river's so high. He was very fortunate that he made it across the river swimming and that he wasn't swept away, or that he didn't drown," said Shelkie.

"But also the temperature of the river is very, very dangerous. Just 30 minutes in the river and he was swimming hard, and he still suffered from hypothermia."

The 23 year old suspect is a recent arrival in BC, and Shelkie says he has outstanding warrants in Alberta and Manitoba for possession of stolen property, break and enter, and firearms offences.

New charges related to this morning's incident include break and enter and obstructing a police officer.

Shelkie says the victims of the initial break-in did the right thing by calling police before confronting the man.

"If you hear something suspicious in your house, or outside of your house, give the police a call right away. We don't mind going. We have attended many a time when we go and it's something totally benign. But better to be safe than sorry. Give us a call and we can check it out."

Airport Manager Fred Legace announces his departure