By Keven Drews in Vancouver
SURREY, B.C. – A motorcycle used to evade police in a movie-like stunt through a suburban Vancouver mall even hurtling down an escalator has been seized by RCMP and its owner fined about $13,000.
Mounties in Surrey, B.C., announced Tuesday that even though officers can’t identify the driver in the Feb. 20 video of the escapade, they are holding onto the bike pending outcome of a civil forfeiture hearing.
RCMP Cpl. Scotty Schumann said the 58 traffic violations that led to the fine included speeding, disobeying a red light and driving without insurance.
“I’ve seen some crazy driving in my time but I’ve never seen anything where a vehicle tries to elude police by driving into a building,” he said.
“It’s absolutely amazing that this motorcyclist was able first to stay on the machine while riding down an escalator but also amazing that he didn’t strike shoppers.”
Schumann said registered owners are responsible for their vehicles at all times and can choose to provide officers with information about who was driving during an offence. Owners who don’t co-operate can be charged with the offence under the Motor Vehicles Act, he said.
“We have advised the civil forfeiture office that all the offences are from the provincial statute, the Motor Vehicle Act,” said Schumann.
The B.C. Ministry of Justice, which is responsible for the office, said in an emailed statement that it received the file recently and has initiated proceedings.
“Under the authority of the Civil Forfeiture Act, the police have the right to maintain possession of the motorcycle while the process continues,” the statement said.
The video cuts between police footage taken by a helicopter and a cruiser, as well as surveillance video from inside Guildford Town Centre.
The motorcyclist can be seen speeding through the streets of Surrey before entering the mall, driving down an escalator and through a set of sliding doors, forcing people to dodge out of the way.
Helicopter video shows the motorcyclist leaving the mall and riding across a pedestrian overpass.
Following the incident, police said officers called off their chase to avoid further danger to the public as the motorcycle rode southeast toward the Fraser Valley city of Langley at a high speed.
Schumann said the bike bore Hells Angels support stickers and was later recovered with stolen licence plates on a street in the city’s north.
Peggy Howard, the mall’s general manager, said the incident happened quickly, and the bike travelled across a parking lot and down an exterior escalator.
“Nothing like that’s ever happened before,” she said. “We were very, very fortunate that nobody got hurt and the equipment wasn’t hurt, either.”