The suspect sought for an early-morning jewelry store robbery in Nelson that netted thieves stolen items and caused damage to the tune of $30,000 is believed to be the same man involved in a car accident on Highway 3 east of Hope Monday afternoon — an accident that left a 35-year-old mother of four dead at the scene.
Sergeant Nate Holt of the Nelson Police Department confirms the suspect does have ties to the Nelson area, and is well-known to police.
“NPD are confident that these events although not related, involve the same parties and that the male driver is responsible for the break and enter,” Holt explained.
Holt said the chain of events that left 35-year-old woman dead at the scene at Monday’s accident east of Hope began to unfold in the early hours of Monday, September 11 when officers encountered a suspicious vehicle near Cottonwood Falls next to Railtown.
Holt said the vehicle was spotted only briefly by officers.
Later in the morning, 4:30 a.m., NPD received a call of a break-and-enter at Ted Allen’s Jewelry in the 400 Block of Baker Street.
At 12:55 p.m., Nelson police received a call from the owner of a Black Chevrolet Equinox rental vehicle that plates were stolen. The license plates were taken while the vehicle was parked in the 400 Block of Josephine Street.
“Police believed these events to be related and conducted an investigation in possible suspects,” Holt said.
“NPD confirmed the identity of a suspect in the break and enter and discovered that the previously stolen plate had been queried by Hope RCMP when Nelson Police ran the license plate.”
Holt said Nelson Police contacted Hope RCMP and began extensive liaison assisting in the investigation.
“The vehicle had been involved in an unrelated fatal collision on the west side of the Hope Slide,” he said.
“The deceased female passenger has since been identified as Danielle (Deedee) Charlton and the male driver is still outstanding at this time.”
RCMP reports the SUV was believed to be travelling southbound at a high rate of speed on Highway 3 before colliding with the truck.
The driver of the SUV, who police are not releasing his name at this time, fled the scene immediately after the crash in a white Ford F350 truck that was later recovered by police.
The Ford F350 was stolen from a person who had stopped to help at the accident scene, leaving his truck unattended.
Police are on the lookout for a suspect is described as Caucasian, standing about 5-9 to 5-10, with dark, short hair.
The suspect has a thin face with some stubble and is said to have a thin waist, broad shoulders and was wearing a white-and-red-coloured motorcycle-style jacket with tan shorts.
Holt said police were able to obtain a partial picture from the video surveillance at the jewelry store of the man's face, and he is well known to police in Nelson and elsewhere.
The suspect remains at large. Holt said police believe the suspect is still in B.C., but the Canadian Border Services have been notified.