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Tuesday, February 27, 2024

RCMP investigating church fire, stolen vehicle in B.C. Interior

RCMP say they’re investigating a number of alleged crimes that occurred near the Anaham Band reserve in the B.C. Interior this weekend, including a church fire and a stolen vehicle.

Police say multiple charges have been laid against a man who is alleged to have made death threats, stolen a black Jeep Cherokee, and subsequently hit a police vehicle with it while attempting to flee.

The police chase came after two separate fires on the reserve Saturday, including the Chilcotin Log Church on the east end of the reserve, which is located near Williams Lake.

Police say they had to use a Taser to restrain the man after the chase. He was uninjured, according to Alexis Creek RCMP, but was taken to hospital as a precaution.

RCMP say he has now been charged with seven crimes, including stealing a vehicle, uttering threats and obstruction.

WATCH | Church fire prompts RCMP investigation: 

Police investigate church fire in B.C. Interior

RCMP say they’re looking into a string of crimes on the Anaham Band reserve west of Williams Lake over the weekend. The fire at the Chilcotin Log Church could be related.

Cpl. Madonna Saunderson told CBC News that an investigation was ongoing to determine if the fire at the church is related to the other crimes.

“More charges may come as this investigation goes forward,” she said.

Saunderson said the police investigation began on Friday, when they first received a report of a stolen Jeep around 10 p.m. PT.

The following day, RCMP received a report of a man going to a neighbourhood and making death threats against the people there.

An old building is pictured on fire at night.
The Chilcotin Log Church near Hanceville, B.C., is run by a non-profit society. (Submitted by Juri Agapow)

As they began investigating, they say they received a report of a fire on the west side of the Anaham Band reserve, and then discovered the church on fire on the east side of the reserve.

“While investigating these offences, the Anaham Band security reported seeing a person trying to allegedly steal equipment from the Anaham subdivision,” Saunderson said.

Police then found the stolen Jeep, according to Saunderson, and the driver struck a police vehicle before the vehicle rolled down an embankment.

The driver then attempted to flee on foot, which is when Saunderson says police had to resort to Tasering him.

The corporal added that the suspect remains in custody as of Monday afternoon.

The Chilcotin Log Church is run by a non-profit and is located near Hanceville, B.C., 66 km west of Williams Lake.

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