Story By: Ernest Bio Bogore, Sub-Editor: Joseph Golder, Agency: Newsflash
This is the moment a car owner tracks his stolen vehicle in his privately-owned helicopter in scenes straight out of a James Bond film.
The startling incident occurred after Emmanuel Toner notified the police that his 2017 RAM pickup truck had been stolen after he left the engine running as he paid for his petrol at a petrol station in Grand Falls, a town located in Victoria County in the New Brunswick region in Canada.
He posted about the theft on Facebook and soon began receiving messages from people saying they had seen the vehicle, with one saying it was southeast of Plaster Rock and another reported seeing it driving on Highway 108 towards Renous.
Toner said in an interview: “In no time, we had lots of shares and likes and people were looking for my truck”.
His father Teddy Toner, who owns a helicopter, suggested that his son use it to find the stolen truck. About 45 minutes after the vehicle was stolen, Teddy Toner, Emmanuel Toner and his brother-in-law took off in the helicopter, according to local media.
The trio spotted the stolen vehicle from the air and watched the police chase it. In the video, the helicopter can be seen flying over a road with the white struck being chased by a police car.
Emmanuel Toner said: “You can run, but you can’t hide from the chopper.”
A winding road, however, made it difficult for the police officers, allowing the fugitive to escape them temporarily but the Toner family kept the stolen vehicle in their sights and kept the police informed of his movements, local media report.
Emmanuel added: “I’m sure he knew he was being followed by a helicopter.”
Local media report that a spike strip placed on the road by law enforcement finally got the better of the fugitive.
They reportedly thought the strip had not worked as the car carried on moving after driving over it but smoke then appeared around the tires.
The driver turned down a small dirt road and ran into the woods and was followed by the police, report the media.
The owner of the car said: “We thought he was going to slow it down, but he actually stepped on it. You could see the smoke going out of the exhaust, so he was giving it everything it’s got.
“He obviously didn’t choose the right truck to steal because with a helicopter, if you know the whereabouts of the truck it’s pretty easy to locate.”
Local media reports say the alleged thief is a 37-year-old man already known to the police. He was arrested two hours after the vehicle was stolen.
Toner said he is glad his two young children were not in the vehicle when he stopped for petrol.
He said it should serve as a reminder to people not to leave their children unattended for 20 or 30 seconds to pay for petrol.
The owner of the car said: “The material is replaceable, it’s only a truck. You can buy another one. It’s insured. But kids or even dogs aren’t replaceable so it’s something to think about.”
Emmanuel Toner was the winner of the 2017 Young Entrepreneur of the Year Award in the Grand Falls region and also has owned a food business since 2012, a family business that he bought outright.
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