Man jumps from stolen Mustang during police chase

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A police pursuit that saw a man jump from a stolen Mustang as its driver sped off was called off Tuesday afternoon due to safety concerns, RCMP say.

The vehicle was later located abandoned on the Kingburn Forest Service Road in the Shawnigan Lake area.

North Cowichan/Duncan RCMP learned about the stolen car at 3:20 p.m. on Tuesday, when a report of an erratic driver speeding northbound on the Trans-Canada Highway past Shawnigan Lake was called in.

A witness, police say, reported the vehicle — a silver Ford Mustang with B.C. plates — hitting the centre concrete meridian near Cobble Hill, and almost losing control of the vehicle, before driving on.

Police picked up the chase near Trunk Road and initiated a traffic stop with help from the Integrated Road Safety Unit.

However, police say the driver managed to avoid Mounties by speeding through various side-streets.

"The vehicle was observed to be travelling at a high rate of speed, making unsafe lane changes and driving in a reckless manner," Cpl. Greg Pask said in an email to media.

"Due to the unsafe manner in which the vehicle was being driven and the associated risk to the general public at that time of day, the pursuit was called off."

But just as police were being told to stand down, a man was seen jumping from the rear-passenger door as the Mustang continued to speed southbound on Lakes Road, from Calais Road.

"This male passenger was arrested for possession of stolen property and is currently being investigated for his role in the stolen vehicle," Pask said. "A search of this passenger resulted in an empty crack pipe being located."

RCMP Police Dog Services attempted to locate the driver from where the Mustang was found abandoned, but the track ended at Doran Road.

"Follow-up investigation has identified two individuals believed to be responsible for this incident," Pask said. "Both individuals are known to the North Cowichan/Duncan and Westshore RCMP."

The vehicle, meanwhile, was seized and is awaiting investigation by forensic identification investigators.

Anyone with information about this incident, or the identity of the driver, is asked to contact the North Cowichan/Duncan RCMP detachment at 250-748-5522.

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