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Driver in 'confused state' arrested, stolen van recovered outside Calgary

RCMP members speak with a driver during an investigation on the Trans-Canada Highway west of Strathmore n Oct. 1. RCMP officials say the van was stolen, the driver had a suspended licence and he had been drinking. (supplied) RCMP members speak with a driver during an investigation on the Trans-Canada Highway west of Strathmore n Oct. 1. RCMP officials say the van was stolen, the driver had a suspended licence and he had been drinking. (supplied)

A Manitoba man faces vehicle theft charges following an RCMP investigation into reports a van was swerving and frequently drifted on to the shoulder of the Trans-Canada Highway east of Calgary.

Officers responded to an area west of the town of Strathmore on the afternoon of Oct. 1 but their pursuit was short-lived as the suspect vehicle, a white utility van, had already stopped along the highway.

RCMP officials say the driver was outside the van "in a confused state" and there were signs he had been drinking.

A roadside breath sample warranted a 72-hour suspension of the driver's licence, RCMP said, but further investigation determined the 42-year-old Manitoba man was driving with a suspended licence and the van had been stolen in Calgary roughly six hours earlier.

Scott Larocque of Steinbach, Man., faces charges of:

  • Possession of property obtained by crime over $5,000;
  • Two counts of failure to comply with a condition of a release; and,
  • Traffic Safety Act violations related to suspended driving.

"This report is a positive example of what can be found with timely reporting of suspicious activity or suspected impaired driving," said Staff Sgt. Mark Wielgosz, Strathmore RCMP detachment commander, in a statement. "Our members were able to respond in a timely manner to prevent further risk to the public and recover a stolen vehicle."

Larocque remains in custody ahead of his next court appearance.

RCMP confirm the utility van was returned to its rightful owner.

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