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Abbotsford car thief stopped in his tracks by police helicopter

The driver of a vehicle stolen in Abbotsford ran from police, but stopped when he realized the Air One helicopter was also tracking him.

The incident took place Wednesday, after a resident reported that his 1990 black Mazda pickup with white canopy had been stolen overnight from his driveway.

A police officer spotted it about 40 minutes later in the area of Mt. Lehman Road and Automall Drive.

Const. Ian MacDonald said the officer followed the driver as he proceeded west on Highway 1 and took the 264 Street exit in Aldergrove. The car then continued south on 264th, west on 56 Avenue and south on 256 Street, where the driver pulled over and began running across a rural property.

Meanwhile, the officer had contacted Air One for assistance.

MacDonald said the car thief looked up and saw the police helicopter tracking him.

"He looks at the officer now behind him, stops and puts his hands behind him (for arrest)," he said.

Brian Jason Scharft, 39, of Abbotsford has been charged with possession of stolen property. He has several previous convictions for stolen property and theft, as well as assault, mischief, fear of injury and breach of probation, according to the provincial court database.

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