Firefighters snuffed a fully-involved car fire late Wednesday night — remnants of an overnight, valley-wide crime spree that landed a 44-year-old Kelowna man in police custody.
The man reportedly held two people in a Camaro at gunpoint at the Kalamalka Lake lookout in Coldstream around 11 p.m. on June 16.
He allegedly forced them from the vehicle, took some personal items and stole the vehicle.
Vernon North Okanagan RCMP media relations officer Const. Chris Terleski said before fleeing the scene, the suspect set fire to the SUV he had arrived in.
Vernon Fire Rescue Services responded to the 200 block of Kalamalka Lakeview Drive around 11:10 p.m. to find the vehicle completely engulfed in flames.
Just after midnight, Kelowna RCMP was notified the stolen vehicle was spotted in the Rutland area.
Police flooded the area and located the vehicle heading southbound on Glenmore Road.
The suspect vehicle fled at a high rate of speed when an officer attempted to stop it, said Cpl. Jocelyn Noseworthy, media relations officer for the Kelowna Regional RCMP.
The Camaro was located, abandoned on Highpointe Drive a short time later.
A containment area was set up and police found what was later determined to be an imitation handgun.
The suspect was located several blocks away and arrested without incident.
The Kelowna man faces several charges including robbery with a firearm, dangerous operation of a motor vehicle, flight from police and using a firearm in the commission of an offence.
He is being held in custody to appear before the BC Provincial court.
No injuries were reported as a result of the fire.