An investigation into gasoline thefts ended when police found their suspect allegedly beating up a bus driver and trying to steal his bus.
On Feb. 6, Langley RCMP's Street Enforcement Unit spotted a Ford pickup with two fuel containers in its cargo box, said Cpl. Holly Marks, spokesperson for the local police.
They followed the truck to Richmond, where two people, a man and a woman, got out and walked along a set of railroad tracks to a warehouse complex.
The duo pulled out a boat and trailer, which was hitched to their truck as they pulled out.
The Richmond RCMP were called in to help arrest the suspicious pair, and the Lower Mainland Integrated Police Dog Service was also brought into the operation.
All the police then switched over to a common radio channel to work as a unit, Marks said.
A police vehicle approached the truck to pull it over, but the driver apparently had other plans.
Marks said the driver reversed, hit a parked car, and then drove around the police cruiser and fled.
There was a brief chase by police, broken off quickly, Marks said.
Marked cars vanished from around the suspicious truck, but unmarked cars driven by specially trained surveillance officers kept following it. The suspect headed for Highway 99 and drove south.
In Surrey, the truck turned north onto King George Boulevard and then tried to turn east onto 40th Avenue, Marks said.
The driver missed his turn and slammed into a BC Hydro power pole, knocking the pole to the ground and halting his truck.
Street Enforcement Unit officers turned up within minutes and arrested the woman who had been in the truck's passenger seat, but the man had fled.
Not long after the crash, a Coast Mountain Transit driver called in a report that he had been flagged down by a man covered in mud nearby. The man seemed suspicious, the driver thought. The report was passed along to the police.
Richmond RCMP pulled over the bus nearby, and found their suspect sitting on top of the driver, attacking him.
Marks said police believe the suspect was trying to swipe the bus as a new get-away vehicle.
The man was arrested, and both the truck and the boat were found to be stolen.
Troy Regnier, a 27-yearold Delta man, has been held in custody since his arrest, and was in Surrey Provincial Court Tuesday on charges of dangerous operation of a motor vehicle, driving while disqualified, driving while prohibited, fleeing from police, robbery, possession of stolen property over $5,000, and two more counts of possession of stolen property.
Police from Surrey, Richmond, and Langley's RCMP detachments all worked together on the arrest, and Insp. Amrik Virk of Langley also drew attention to the bus driver's actions.
"It is always heartening when community partners step up to assist the police," Virk said.