Saskatchewan Mounties use tractor to haul away suspected thieves
Dogs, planes, quads and trucks also used in search for teens
The RCMP got some local help — and a tractor — to find three suspects Friday following a vehicle theft at the village of Briercrest, Sask.
It all started at 4:30 a.m. CST when Milestone RCMP received a report of a grey Dodge Ram truck which was taken from the town of Rouleau and found abandoned in Briercrest.
Somebody in Briercrest spotted the truck, realized it was stolen and pulled the keys from the ignition. That left the three suspects with no other way out of town.
Police dogs were called to track them, but people in the community also kept an eye out for them. People alerted their neighbours with word shared through a local phone tree list.
It was something I've never seen in my service.- Sgt. Paul Dawson
Sgt. Paul Dawson with the RCMP said some residents drove throughout the community on grid roads in hopes of finding the suspects.
One resident took to the air in his own plane to search the area, while others canvassed on quads.
“We had members that were going through rivers and bogs and trying to locate these people," Dawson said. "It was something I've never seen in my service.”
At about noon, one resident saw three people walking through a wet field. The area was too muddy for police vehicles.
"The fields are so wet and so boggy and such a mess that there was no other means of transportation really to get out there," Dawson said. "Thankfully, a member of the community offered to take us out there."
Dawson said a local farmer took four RCMP members through the field on his tractor.
Three suspects were arrested in the middle of the field. They were put into the bucket of the tractor, an officer hopped on the side, and then they were driven out.
RCMP say all three suspects are from Regina and under 18 years old. They were taken to cells in Moose Jaw.
They're facing various charges including theft, possession of stolen property and breach of probation.
Dawson said the efforts from people in the village was inspiring.
"I think it really speaks to the community," he said. "They did this really without putting themselves at any risk. They were in very close contact with us. They never approached these suspects.”
"When you have that many people out there that are looking for someone, it's amazing what can happen."