Tractor chase on snowmobile a slow pursuit, says RCMP officer
'It was like watching the proverbial paint dry waiting for this tractor to get across the field'
One of the first officers on scene when RCMP pursued a stolen tractor through a snowy farm field on a snowmobile in central Alberta Wednesday says it was definitely a low-speed chase.
"It was like watching the proverbial paint dry waiting for this tractor to get across the field," said Cpl. Barry Larocque about the incident near Red Deer.
"I'm saying probably about five to six miles an hour might have been top speed during this pursuit."
- Tractor theft leads RCMP on snowmobile chase near Red Deer
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A 25-year-old man is now facing charges, including theft and break-and-enter.
The incident started shortly before 4 p.m. MT Wednesday when Blackfalds RCMP responded to a call about a break-in at a rural home on Highway 595, east of Red Deer. There they found that firearms and other items had been taken from the home.
Just over an hour later, police got a call about a stolen John Deere tractor crashing through fences and smashing trees in the area.
While out searching for the stolen farm vehicle, an officer came across a snowmobiler who was also looking for the tractor that had plowed through his property.
"So in typical Alberta fashion we asked him if we could borrow his Ski-Doo with him driving and help us because in central Alberta we still have lots of snow in the fields," said Larocque.
"The owner of the snowmobile said, 'Sure jump on,' and they went off together."
He said the pair followed at safe distance to not put the snowmobile driver's life at risk.
They followed it until the tractor thief, who did not have much experience with the big machinery, stalled. When he got it going again it happened to be on a hill and the tractor rolled.
"There was no injuries at all, so our member then went up and arrested the 25-year-old male driving this tractor with no incident," said Larocque.
He said the officers were able to find the stolen firearms and other stolen property inside the tractor.
"That pretty much solved both break and enters," said Larocque.