No bail for ve­hi­cle theft sus­pect


Lethbridge Herald - - HOMETOWN NEWS - Delon Shurtz LETH­BRIDGE HER­ALD dshurtz@leth­bridge­

A Cal­gary man ac­cused of break­ing into Leth­bridge car deal­er­ships and lead­ing po­lice on a high-speed chase has been de­nied bail.

Judge Jerry LeGran­deur re­fused to re­lease Eric Christo­pher Smith from cus­tody Mon­day fol­low­ing a bail hear­ing in Leth­bridge pro­vin­cial court.

The ac­cused will re­main at the Leth­bridge Cor­rec­tional Cen­tre where he was re­manded fol­low­ing his ar­rest two months ago. His next court ap­pear­ance is sched­uled for Feb. 9 when he will ap­pear by closed-cir­cuit TV.

Al­though ev­i­dence dur­ing a bail hear­ing can­not be pub­lished, po­lice re­ported in De­cem­ber that at about 9:53 p.m. Nov. 30, 2017, po­lice re­sponded to a break-in at Dun­lop Ford in the 1500 block of Mayor Ma­grath Drive South af­ter a man driv­ing a truck stolen from Cal­gary plowed into one of the busi­ness’s over­head doors. The man took a set of keys and, af­ter be­ing con­fronted by an em­ployee, fled to the park­ing lot where he used the keys to steal an F350 truck.

While po­lice in­ves­ti­gated the theft, the sus­pect drove to Bridge City Chrysler in the 3200 block of 1 Av­enue South and crashed the stolen F350 into another over­head door. He again took keys and drove a Fiat Spi­der down the street where, po­lice be­lieve, he in­tended to re­turn later to pick up the ve­hi­cle.

As he at­tempted to move other ve­hi­cles from the lot, a se­cu­rity of­fi­cer ar­rived and the sus­pect fled, this time in a Dodge Ram 1500.

Just be­fore 12:30 a.m. the fol­low­ing day a po­lice of­fi­cer saw the sus­pect in the stolen truck near the deal­er­ship and two other of­fi­cers blocked the ve­hi­cle's path. The man rammed both po­lice ve­hi­cles, how­ever, and fled east on High­way 3 where po­lice pur­sued him as he left the city lim­its.

RCMP de­ployed a spike belt, which dis­abled the truck, but not the driver, who fled on foot. He was later found in a shed and caught by Myke, a Leth­bridge po­lice dog. The man was treated by EMS and ar­rested.

Smith, 22, is charged with sin­gle counts of dan­ger­ous driv­ing, pos­ses­sion of stolen prop­erty over $5,000, mis­chief over $5,000 and re­sist­ing a peace of­fi­cer. He also faces mul­ti­ple counts of shop­break­ing and com­mit theft, mo­tor ve­hi­cle theft, flight from a peace of­fi­cer, driv­ing with­out in­surance, as­sault­ing a peace of­fi­cer, dis­qual­i­fied driv­ing, mis­chief un­der $5,000, pos­ses­sion of stolen prop­erty un­der $5,000, theft un­der $5,000 and drug pos­ses­sion.

Fol­low @DelonHer­ald on Twit­ter

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