A prolific offender was arrested by Abbotsford Police after allegedly stealing a bright-yellow semi-truck from Mission, driving erratically around Abbotsford, crashing, and trying to steal another vehicle before Good Samaritans intervened.
The semi-truck was stolen the previous night, but Abbotsford officers responded to reports of the vehicle in the eastern part of the city just after 10:30 a.m. on Saturday (Jan. 15), according to Const. Paul Walker, media officer with the Abbotsford Police Department (APD).
Chilliwack RCMP attempted to stop the vehicle after it was spotted near Highway 1 and Yale Road, but the driver did not stop, Walker said.
He said the truck then re-entered Abbotsford, and police witnessed it collide with another truck and flee the scene.
“Given the driving behaviour and heavy fog in the area, a police pursuit did not occur,” an APD press release said. “Citizens observed the semi-truck in the McKee area driving dangerously.”
People posted to social media after seeing sparks flying from the front driver’s side of the semi-truck, Walker said.
The semi crashed onto the concrete median by Immel Street and Old Clayburn Road just before noon, and the suspect ran away to a nearby business complex to allegedly try to steal another vehicle, the press release said.
Walker said, at this point, members of the public intervened.
“He ended up approaching a couple different people that were getting into their cars, and trying to take their car,” Walker said. “Two citizens were engaged in – I would call it almost like a wrestling match – trying to just hold the suspect down.”
Officers arrived several minutes after the suspect’s alleged attempts to steal a second vehicle, and “jumped in” to help complete the arrest with handcuffs, Walker said.
Rory Serna, 28, has been charged with dangerous operation of a motor vehicle, possession of stolen property, assault, and driving while disqualified. Walker said drugs and alcohol do not appear to be a factor in the incident.
Serna is a recent arrival from Alberta with an “extensive criminal history,” Walker said, noting this is his second police-related filed in B.C. over the last month.
He remains in custody.
Abbotsford Police say the incident highlights the importance of law enforcement partnerships, and they are lucky to have a close working relationship with the Chilliwack RCMP.
Staff Sgt. Chris Nightingale also thanked the citizens who assisted in the arrest.