Westside Road in Vernon was closed Thursday evening as police located and arrested a man wanted on a Canada-wide warrant.
Motorists were held at a standstill for several hours as police located and arrested Robert Heltman, wanted countrywide, and another individual, Dustin Heltman.
Just after 12:30 pm Dec. 10, a suspicious vehicle was spotted in the Enderby area that was associated to Heltman.
After attempting to make contact with the vehicle and its occupants, the vehicle fled at high speed southbound on Highway 97.
With help from the RCMP Air Services Unit, the vehicle was located on a rural property in the area of Westside Road and Clifford Road in Vernon.
“Once the vehicle was located, frontline officers quickly set up containment around the rural property and with the assistance of the RCMP Emergency Response Team, two males were taken into custody without incident,” said RCMP Const. Kelly Brett.
“The Vernon RCMP along with multiple other police agencies have been working together to apprehend 30-year-old Robert Heltman, who was captured after being wanted on a Canada wide warrant since July 2020.”
In August, a manhunt came down on an Okanagan Landing Road neighbourhood searching for the 30-year-old man whose Facebook profile indicates he attended Pleasant Valley Secondary School in Armstrong. Heltman was wanted on a Canada-wide arrest warrant for breaching conditions of his statutory release. But after an hours-long standoff, police entered the Brooks Lane residence and he was nowhere to be found.
While inside, police found and seized a loaded handgun. Heltman was slapped with a lifetime firearms ban in January 2018 and given jail time after being found guilty of possession of a restricted firearm, controlled substances for the purpose of trafficking and breaching probation in Prince George.
Heltman’s court records date back to 2009 with incidents in both Armstrong and Vernon, including assault, possession of a weapon and theft under $5,000.
On Dec. 10, police also arrested 29-year-old Dustin Heltman, a resident of Grindrod.
Dustin Heltman is facing additional charges of failing to comply with probation orders, breach or recognizance, dangerous operation of a motor vehicle, flight from police and driving while prohibited.
Both men are being held in custody to appear before a judge.
“The safety of our community is the utmost priority for the North Okanagan RCMP and we would like to thank the motorists and residents that were near the affected area on Westside Road for their patience while officers worked to bring the two males into custody without incident,” Brett said Friday, Dec. 11.