Loaded shotgun tossed from vehicle fleeing West Van police

Two men are facing charges after a string of property crimes and an attempted getaway from police that involved a spike belt and a loaded shotgun being tossed from a moving truck.

The fracas started around 8:30 a.m. Saturday when someone called West Vancouver police to report some suspicious people outside their neighbour’s home on Highview Place in the British Properties.

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Police flooded the area looking for the suspect vehicle, a white pick-up truck, but by the time they arrived, the suspects had fled, according to Const. Kevin Goodmurphy, West Vancouver police spokesman.

Thanks to the alert witness getting the licence plate number, police quickly learned the truck had been reported stolen from Surrey.

About 40 minutes later, on the other side of the British Properties, another report came in of people in a white pickup smashing the windows of vehicles parked on Bonnymuir Drive.

When the first West Van officer arrived, the suspect driver rammed the cruiser head-on, and escaped, Goodmurphy said.

Investigators believed their likeliest escape route was Highway 1 eastbound, so officers closed off the highway at Capilano Road and deployed a spike belt, which had mixed results. The suspects hit the belt and blew out all four tires, but they opted to keep running.

“Essentially, this vehicle is driving on rims as it continued eastbound,” Goodmurphy said.

Almost immediately after, another 911 call came in from a witness claiming they saw someone throw a rifle from moving vehicle on the highway

“Our officers attended the area shortly after and did quickly locate a loaded shotgun on the side of the highway in eastbound lanes,” Goodmurphy said. “Quite dangerous, obviously, to say the least.”

By this time, police across the North Shore were on the lookout for the truck. When it turned up at 12th Street and Lonsdale Avenue a short time later, North Vancouver RCMP members were ready.

The two suspects fled on foot. RCMP members arrested a woman in a nearby business and a man hiding in an office building.

While all of this was going on, West Van officers were still canvassing the British Properties. One of their service dogs picked up a scent that led them to a home on the 500 block of Craigmohr Drive, which officers found had been broken into. Inside they found a third suspect attempting to hide from police.

Goodmurphy said there was not enough evidence to request that the Crown lay any charges against the woman who was in the truck and she was released without charges.

The other two, 36-year-old Adam Douglas Zinck of North Vancouver, and Surrey resident Alexander James Eaton, 28, made their first appearance in North Vancouver court on Monday. Zinck is charged with one count of breaking and entering and Eaton is charged with dangerous operation of a vehicle and flight from police.

Both men have been kept in custody until their next court appearance on Wednesday.

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