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West Vancouver B&E suspects lead police on helicopter chase

Suspects still at large after ditching vehicle in Stanley Park Saturday night
cop car portion
Multiple police agencies were out looking for three suspects Saturday night after they were caught trying to break into a West Vancouver home.

Three suspects who tried to bash down the door of a home in the British Properties remain on the loose despite a massive police search Saturday night.

According to West Vancouver police, a homeowner on the 1400 block of Chartwell Drive called 911 around 10 p.m. when they heard someone trying to break down their door.

The homeowner yelled at the suspects, who then fled. Police set up road blocks and officers spotted the getaway vehicle nearby but the suspects escaped after some “extremely dangerous” manoeuvres, including driving the wrong way on Highway 1.

“They passed the Taylor Way off-ramp and then button hooked around into the oncoming on-ramp from Taylor Way,” said Const Kevin Goodmurphy, West Vancouver police spokesman.

Because a high-speed pursuit would have put the public at even higher risk, officers in patrol vehicles held back  but they did call the Police Air Services helicopter, Air 1, to keep watch from above.

They tracked the suspect’s vehicle over the Lions Gate Bridge and into Stanley Park where they ditched the car and disappeared on foot.

“This was a dynamic situation with significant risk to the public, due to the extremely dangerous driving behavior of the suspects,” Goodmurphy said. “Having air support meant safely tracking the suspects’ movements, without increasing further risk.”

Vancouver Police Department members scoured the 400-hectare park but had no luck nabbing the suspects. Officers did seize the vehicle though, which will now be a major piece of the investigation.

It’s the second time in the last week that a break-and-enter has been interrupted by a homeowner in the British Properties. On May 25, two suspects escaped after pepper spraying a Westhill Drive resident when he caught them mid-burglary. Goodmurphy said investigators will be looking for any potential connections.

“It’s quite a lot more frightening and impacting on the people that are home, having to deal with this,” Goodmurphy said. “We have nothing at this point to suggest that it was targeted.”

Anyone with information about the attempted break-in is asked to contact West Vancouver police or Crime Stoppers.