RCMP have secured a large area east of Ponoka on Highway 53 in the search for a suspect involved in a carjacking. Officers are on the lookout for a damaged pickup that is believed to have a long gun in it. Photos by Jeffrey Heyden-Kaye

Ponoka RCMP search for armed man in carjacking

Roads east of Ponoka were closed while police search the area

Ponoka RCMP were on high alert after reports of a man stealing a vehicle at gunpoint.

The call came in later in the day of Nov. 6 that a Caucasian man, believed to be dressed in camouflaged clothing carjacked a vehicle south of Ponoka. It appears he was in one vehicle, which struck the victim’s then demanded the person give up the vehicle.

It is believed the suspect stole the vehicle near the Blackfalds area and then travelled north to the Ponoka area. Reports say that the man was in a badly damaged vehicle headed north on Range Road 243 from Highway 53.

It was indicated to Mounties that a long gun was in the suspect’s vehicle but that has not been confirmed. The vehicle was said to have flat tires and severe damage to it as a result of the carjacking.

Police, with help from Blackfalds and Bashaw detachments, as well as Maskwacis and Wetaskiwin RCMP, were called in to secure the areas around the location.

The vehicle was found abandoned at a well site but crews did not access the vehicle until it was safe to do so.

About a three mile radius was blocked from public access by RCMP and traffic was diverted to the various range roads and township roads around the location.

The Emergency Response Team (ERT) as well as a police helicopter were called in later in the evening. Using FLIR thermal imaging, investigators were able to determine the abandoned vehicle was still running but no one was inside or around it at the time.

Officers then confirmed on foot that it was indeed empty.

At about 9 p.m., police, including several officers with the ERT began to search a property alongside Highway 53 where they believed the man had escaped.

As of 9:45 p.m. there was no further information available but Ponoka News will update this story as more information comes in.

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