Photo by Dale Klippenstein

Three arrested after store robbery, pepper-spraying and helicopter pursuit

Trio from Surrey, Abbotsford and Langley arrested in Chilliwack

Three people have been charged in relation to an incident that began Thursday (Oct. 15) with a store robbery in Abbotsford and ended with their arrest in Chilliwack after they were followed by the RCMP Air One helicopter.

Abbotsford Police Sgt. Judy Bird said in a press release that on Oct. 15 at 7:20 p.m., patrol officers responded to a robbery at a store located in the Abbotsford Power Centre at 1335 Sumas Way.

Witnessed indicated that two women had stolen several items from the store and that one of them had bear-sprayed an employee as they were leaving.

Bird said the women were picked up by a man driving a black Mercedes, and they drove away before police arrived.

That vehicle had been reported missing on Sept. 29 from a neighbouring community, Bird said.

She said police then located the Mercedes at a residence on King Road and, as it drove away, it was followed by the Air One helicopter as it headed towards Chilliwack.

ALSO READ: Abbotsford police K9 unit arrests man after pursuit in north Clearbrook neighbourhood

A spike belt was deployed, and the occupants could be seen throwing garbage bags out of the car, which were later found to contain items stolen in the earlier robbery, Bird said.

She said the vehicle drove off the road in the 41900 block of Yale Road in Chilliwack, and two women and a man were arrested. The man was taken to hospital for the treatment of a bite from a police service dog.

Bird said the Abbotsford Police patrol officers and the Air One helicopter were assisted by the Combined Forces Special Enforcement Unit officers and the Lower Mainland Integrated Police Dog Service.

All three suspects remain in police custody.

According to the provincial court database, Robert Leo Jones, 36, of Surrey has been charged with driving while prohibited and breaching his probation.

Brittany Ulmer-Wightman, 27, of Abbotsford has been charged with assault with a weapon, robbery and breaching her probation.

Kelly Marie Hopwood, 39, of Langley has been charged with one count of robbery.

ALSO READ: Man sentenced for Abbotsford incident in which pepper-sprayed officer shot assailant



vhopes@abbynews.com

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