Around 6:10 p.m. a grey 2006 Ford F350 reported stolen from the Walmart parking lot. Less than one hour later, an employee at the prison in Oliver contacted the Penticton RCMP to report an unknown male had visited the facility to drop off an item for an inmate in the stolen truck.
RCMP departed towards Oliver and spotted the stolen truck travelling north on Highway 97 near Vaseux Lake.
“A spike belt was successfully deployed at Highway 97 and Weyerhauser Road which resulted in three tires on the truck being deflated,” Cpl. Dan Moskaluk said “The male driver did not stop for police after driving over the spike belt and continued to drive another 2.6 kilometres through residential streets in Okanagan Falls and on Highway 97.”
Police report that the truck came within several feet of hitting a fire hydrant and commercial building, running two stop signs, almost hitting pedestrians and forcing cars on the highway to swerve around it.
The male suspect finally stopped the truck about 1.5 km north of Okanagan Falls and ran into the brush on the west side of the highway. He was spotted ten minutes later running toward Skaha Lake, said Moskaluk.
Gregory Montague was eventually arrested after trying to swim away from RCMP officers for about 20 minutes in the lake. Police say he provided a false name when he was arrested. A search of the truck located documents in Montague’s name and a small amount of methamphetamine, an open bottle of alcohol and multiple pliers.
He went to court Wednesday pleading guilty to theft over $5000, fail to stop for the police and dangerous driving. He was sentenced to 12 months in jail and a 3 year driving prohibition.