Police arrest 2 Ontario men in string of crashes, theft of Winnipeg semi

Two men from Brampton, Ont., have been charged in connection with the theft of a semi-trailer in Winnipeg last week that screeched to a crashing halt in the North End following a string of collisions.

Police nab men, both 30, running from final crash site near Robin's Donuts in North End

A heavily damaged semi, which police say was stolen, sits in the parking lot of a Robin's Donuts at the corner of Selkirk Avenue and Salter Street on Friday. (Travis Golby/CBC)

Two men from Brampton, Ont., have been charged in connection with the theft of a semi-trailer in Winnipeg last week that screeched to a crashing halt in the North End following a string of collisions.

Winnipeg police arrested the 30-year-old men Friday shortly after they ran from the scene of a crash at the corner of Selkirk Avenue and Salter Street on Friday.

The men have been charged with theft of a motor vehicle. One man has also been charged with an additional 11 offences, including dangerous operation of a vehicle, evading police and eight counts of failing to stop at the scene of an accident.

On Friday at 5 a.m. CT, police allege the men stole a semi whose driver left it running to go inside a restaurant near Brookside and Inkster boulevards.

The driver then reported seeing his stolen vehicle in the area of Keewatin Street and Hekla Avenue at about 10:30 a.m.

Police found the stolen semi near the Perimeter Highway and Pipeline Road, and cruisers followed it to Main Street near Red River Boulevard. That's when the semi sped off, but officers decided not to chase after the vehicle out of public safety concerns, police said. Police followed at a distance.

The semi caused serious damage when it crashed with two vehicles at the intersection of Main and Selkirk — one of which police said had a two-month-old baby in it who was taken to hospital as a precaution.

A Duffy's taxi cab was one of the vehicles hit by a stolen semi Friday morning in Winnipeg's North End. (Travis Golby/CBC)

The semi took off again, veering into oncoming traffic on Selkirk where it collided with and seriously damaged three vehicles near Salter, police said. 

The semi crashed into a steel fence outside Robin's Donuts at Selkrik and Salter. The pair ran away from the scene but were picked up by police nearby.

Both were detained in custody.

Police have not released any other details about the crash.

A piece of the stolen semi sits in the parking lot of Robin's Donuts at Selkirk and Salter on Friday. (Travis Golby/CBC)