A dramatic police chase down Highway 3 following the theft of a bike resulted in two men being arrested for robbery on Wednesday.
Jennifer Patrina was in her vacation home in the Annex in Fernie just before 11 a.m. when she saw a man in her yard. When she went out to ask him what he was doing he told her he was interested in buying the house next door, then grabbed her son’s bike and ran off.
Patrina got in her car and chased him until she caught up with him at a grey van. There was another man there. She then took the bike back and put it in her car and went home.
“My heart was just racing,” she said. “I was so angry.”
While she was inside the house calling the police, she saw the men trying to take the bike from her car.
She confronted them again and they threatened her and her children and fled in the van.
A short time later, a motorist called 911 to make a driving complaint about a van matching the description driving really fast towards Sparwood. Police chased the van and it turned off into a gravel road just off the Olson stretch of dual highway between Sparwood and Fernie. Police found the van unoccupied near the river and called in Police dog services from Lethbridge.
A police dog tracked down one of the suspects, and the other one came out of the bushes and handed himself in.
Sgt. Dave Dubnyk of the Elk Valley RCMP said both men were known to police for incidents as far away as Nova Scotia.
One man is 37-years-old and from Kimberley, and the other is a 43-year-old from Alberta.
Both men were taken into custody and appeared before a judge. On Monday they were released on condition they would stay away from Fernie, and will be appearing in court in Cranbrook on August 29, charged with robbery.
No other bikes or bike parts were found in the van, and Dubnyk said there had not been a spike in bike theft recently in the Elk Valley.