Two charged after van stolen in Fort Providence, say RCMP

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Two people face motor vehicle theft charges after RCMP say a van was stolen at the Big River gas station in Fort Providence last week.

RCMP detachments in Yellowknife, Behchoko, Fort Providence, Hay River and Fort Simpson launched a “coordinated” investigation, stretching from territory’s capital to Highway 1 near Fort Simpson, following reports of two vehicle thefts in the span of a day, according to a news release issued on Dec. 29.

Police say a white passenger van was reported stolen from Fort Providence gas station around 9:30 a.m. on Dec. 28 – less than an hour after a Pizza Hut delivery vehicle – a 2018 Ford Escape SUV – was reported stolen from the Beck Court area in Yellowknife.

The vehicle, bearing decal of the restaurant’s logo, was found later that morning abandoned in a ditch on Highway 3, approximately 40 kilometers north of Chan Lake between Behchoko and Fort Providence, stated Mounties.

A man and a woman were arrested without incident after the passenger van was located on Highway 1, approximately 150 kilometers north of Fort Providence. Police say the two occupants were “picked up by a passerby and transported to a pull out on Highway 1 where they changed vehicles and were heading towards Fort Simpson.”

Dene Vital, 27, has been charged with motor vehicle theft, operating a vehcile in a dangerous manner and five counts of possessing property obtained by crime, states a news release issued Thursday morning.

Janna Roach, 20, is charged with motor vehicle theft and four counts of possessing property obtained by crime.

While Mounties stated last week they believed the Fort Providence van theft was linked to the Pizza Hut vehicle theft in Yellowknife, the two suspects have not yet been charged in connection with that theft, state police.

Further updates will be provided “should additional charges be laid,” according to spokesperson Marie York-Condon.

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As the Yellowknifer’s crime reporter, it’s my job to keep readers up to speed on all-things “cops and courts” related. From house fires and homicides to courtroom clashes, it’s my responsibility to be there - day or night, rain or shine. When I’m not at court gathering stories, I’m in the office, making calls to lawyers, emailing RCMP and tracking down sources. After hours, I rely on the public to let me know what’s happening and where. Entering my second winter in Yellowknife since leaving my hometown of Peterborough, Ont., in October 2017, everyday on this beat continues to be challenging, rewarding and fulfilling. Got a story? Call me at (867) 766-8288 or shoot me an email at editorial@nnsl.com.

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