More charges against armed robbers arrested near Rossland

"Every day we are uncovering more of their crime spree in the Central Interior and the Fraser Valley." ~ Sgt. Darren Oelke

More charges have been laid against two young men following a Sept. 6 incident that began with a Grand Forks armed robbery and ended with a foot chase near Rossland.

Rylee Andrew Shipley, 18, of Nova Scotia and 19-year old Collton Emery Knowles from Alberta, are now charged with two other armed robberies, one in Kamloops and the other in Chilliwack, in the days preceding the Kootenay Boundary crimes.

Following an investigation by the Kootenay Boundary Regional RCMP, as well as Kamloops and Chilliwack detachments, Sgt. Darren Oelke released details about the duo’s crime spree on Tuesday.

Oelke, from the Greater Trail RCMP, reports Shipley and Knowles used a firearm to rob a pizza delivery person of his car in Kamloops on Sept. 3. The pair drove the stolen vehicle to Chilliwack, then robbed a convenience store in disguise and with a firearm.

Following that incident, Shipley and Knowles travelled to Grand Forks and committed an armed robbery against a pizza delivery person just after 8 p.m. Sept 6, taking his vehicle and cash.

Then, at 8:45 p.m. a Trail police officer encountered the stolen vehicle, a 2004 Pontiac Sunfire, heading toward Rossland on Highway 3B.

When police attempted to stop the vehicle, the perpetrators fled at high rate of speed, lost control on a corner and struck a rock wall.

One male was arrested at the scene of the accident, but the other fled on foot and was tracked down a short time later by a police dog.

“It is a complex file so all the evidence is not yet before crown,” Oelke told the Trail Times following the Rossland arrest. “Every day we are uncovering more of their crime spree in the Central Interior and the Fraser Valley.”

Both men are charged with multiple offences including robbery with a firearm during the commission of an offence for the Kamloops incident, and using a firearm and disguise during the Chilliwack robbery. Those add to the Grand Forks offences of robbery with a firearm, possession of stolen property, possession of a prohibited firearm, flight from police, and other firearm-related charges.

Knowles next court appearance is slated for Oct. 20, and Shipley’s Nov. 17.

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