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Man arrested after allegedly stealing semi-truck, driving erratically across Abbotsford, crashing

Two citizens wrestled suspect to stop alleged theft of another vehicle after crash, police say
The semi-truck crashed onto the concrete meridian by Immel Street and Old Clayburn Road just before noon, and the suspect fled to allegedly try and steal another vehicle, police said. Photo courtesy of Abbotsford Police.

A prolific offender was arrested by Abbotsford Police after allegedly stealing a bright-yellow semi-truck from Mission, driving erratically around Abbotsford, crashing, and trying to steal another vehicle before Good Samaritans intervened.

The semi-truck was stolen the previous night, but Abbotsford officers responded to reports of the vehicle in the eastern part of the city just after 10:30 a.m. on Saturday (Jan. 15), according to Const. Paul Walker, media officer with the Abbotsford Police Department (APD).

Chilliwack RCMP attempted to stop the vehicle after it was spotted near Highway 1 and Yale Road, but the driver did not stop, Walker said.

He said the truck then re-entered Abbotsford, and police witnessed it collide with another truck and flee the scene.

“Given the driving behaviour and heavy fog in the area, a police pursuit did not occur,” an APD press release said. “Citizens observed the semi-truck in the McKee area driving dangerously.”

People posted to social media after seeing sparks flying from the front driver’s side of the semi-truck, Walker said.

The semi crashed onto the concrete median by Immel Street and Old Clayburn Road just before noon, and the suspect ran away to a nearby business complex to allegedly try to steal another vehicle, the press release said.

Walker said, at this point, members of the public intervened.

“He ended up approaching a couple different people that were getting into their cars, and trying to take their car,” Walker said. “Two citizens were engaged in – I would call it almost like a wrestling match – trying to just hold the suspect down.”

Officers arrived several minutes after the suspect’s alleged attempts to steal a second vehicle, and “jumped in” to help complete the arrest with handcuffs, Walker said.

Rory Serna, 28, has been charged with dangerous operation of a motor vehicle, possession of stolen property, assault, and driving while disqualified. Walker said drugs and alcohol do not appear to be a factor in the incident.

Serna is a recent arrival from Alberta with an “extensive criminal history,” Walker said, noting this is his second police-related filed in B.C. over the last month.

He remains in custody.

Abbotsford Police say the incident highlights the importance of law enforcement partnerships, and they are lucky to have a close working relationship with the Chilliwack RCMP.

Staff Sgt. Chris Nightingale also thanked the citizens who assisted in the arrest.


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