FRUITVALE — Armed robbery, stolen cars and stolen guns — it all happened in Fruitvale after midnight Tuesday.
By the following morning, two females ages 23 and 33 were in custody as well as two males ages 34 and 44 — though Trail detachment is still nailing down the sequence of events.
The how and why all four suspects, said to be from Alberta, landed in the village on Easter Monday is still an unknown.
“The story they gave is that a vehicle broke down,” Greater Trail RCMP Sgt. Darren Oelke said.
Police haven’t determined if there is another vehicle dumped somewhere, or if they hitchhiked, he added.
“We are not sure, there could be a trail or a crime spree that followed them along the way, but we are not aware of anything yet.”
What has been chained together so far, is a series of alleged crimes that involve theft from three Fruitvale homes, including firearms and two cars in addition to one man escaping custody.
It all started with the call of an armed robbery at the Villager’s Inn shortly before 1 a.m. on April 3, began Sgt. Darren Oelke in a Wednesday news release.
“Police determined that a group of four individuals robbed a local man of his vehicle at gunpoint,” he stated. “Shortly after the call, police located the stolen vehicle and attempted to stop it.”
The car fled down a dead end street and all four individuals ran from the vehicle.
Oelke says a police dog quickly tracked down two females hiding in a nearby yard.
The two males were not yet apprehended at that time.
While this was going on, RCMP dispatch started getting calls of break and enters and stolen vehicles from the Fruitvale area.
“Three residences were broken into and two vehicles were stolen along with several firearms, electronics and jewelry,” Oelke confirmed. “There was some dog tracking, one break and enter was called in at 4:30 a.m. and another at 5:30 a.m. We don’t have a time frame when the (third) one happened, we are still working on the details.”
What is known, is that police eventually located and arrested one of the males back at the Inn.
While that was happening, the fourth man showed up at the hotel, says Oelke. He was also arrested but escaped custody. That male suspect fled Fruitvale in one of the stolen vehicles.
At approximately 10 a.m. Tuesday, Creston RCMP located the vehicle and suspect, then subsequently took him into custody without incident.
The third stolen vehicle was recovered Wednesday morning in Fruitvale.
“Stolen property, as well as the stolen firearms, were located,” said Oelke.
The origin of the firearm used to hold up the local man is unknown.
Police are not looking for any other suspects. All four individuals remain in custody and are scheduled to appear in Rossland Provincial Court on Friday, April 6.