No bail for vehicle theft suspect
CALGARY MAN FACING NUMEROUS CHARGES
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.
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