Suspects’ getaway halted by West Van police spike belt

West Vancouver police quite literally spiked the getaway plans of two suspects running from police in Whistler.

The incident happened during the early morning of Dec. 1 when RCMP officers in Whistler put the word out they’d tried to pull over a driver headed south on Highway 99 but the driver fled.

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West Van officers posted a cruiser on the Sea to Sky Highway between Horseshoe Bay and Lawrence Way waiting to intercept the suspects.

They refused to pull over again so West Vancouver police opted for a rarely used tool in law enforcement.

“The decision was made to deploy the spike belt,” said Const. Kevin Goodmurphy, West Vancouver police spokesman. “The vehicle continued driving until it was forced to stop because it was literally on a rim.”

The vehicle came to a stop on the Nelson Creek Bridge in West Vancouver where the driver and a passenger were both arrested without further incident.

Inside the car they found property that had been reported stolen from a break and enter, as well as crack cocaine and a crack pipe, Goodmurphy said.

The occupants were identified as 26-year-old Kelowna resident Emerald Laverentz-Stewart and 33-year-old Aaron Goddard of no fixed address. Both were held in custody overnight.

Laverentz-Stewart has since pleaded guilty to one charge of possession of stolen property valued at more than $5,000 and been sentenced to a year of probation.

Goddard is charged with possession of stolen property and possession of a controlled substance. He has not yet entered a plea. He remains in custody.

Goodmurphy said spike belts aren’t deployed very often – he's seen it maybe four times in his career with WVPD.

“You always have to take into account public safety,” he said. “In this case we were lucky in that it was early morning. There was very little traffic on the road. The weather conditions were good.”

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