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Suspected thief on bike collides with police car

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Sgt. Brian Nightingale, left, of the RCMP Forensic Reconstruction Unit, along with another RCMP officer, uses a measuring device to conduct forensic mapping at the intersection of Cawston Avenue and Graham Street in Kelowna on Friday morning. Police said a suspected thief collided with an RCMP cruiser while attempting to flee on a bicycle.
A suspected thief fleeing police on a bicycle was taken to hospital Friday morning after he was struck by one of the RCMP cruisers involved in the slow-speed chase.
The 28-year-old Kelowna man's injuries were unknown but were believed to be minor after he was knocked down by the police car near the intersection of Cawston Avenue and Graham Street in downtown Kelowna. Police said he struck the front right side of the car, which was slowing to a stop.
"The person was conscious right after the accident and he was talking a little bit. He had his head up. He was just complaining about some pain," Const. Paul Mlait said.
Police cars had been trailing after the man for several minutes following a report shortly after 9:30 a.m. that vehicles had been broken into at a nearby underground parking garage. Three vehicles were found to be damaged in the garage for an apartment building in the 1000 block of Manhattan Point.
"We had followed him up and down these alleys here for a bit, and he was not stopping," Mlait said.
Some items recovered from the man's pockets appeared to match the description of items taken from the cars in the garage, Mlait said.
The man is familiar to police, he said. He was found to be wanted on an outstanding warrant for arrest for breach of undertaking.
Members of the RCMP's traffic section were on the scene investigating the collision between the cruiser and the bicyclist.
Since the accident involved police, it's possible the Independent Investigations Office will also take an interest in the matter, Mlait said.
The thefts from the vehicles in the parking garage were observed by a witness, who then followed the suspect to a home in the downtown North End after alerting police.
An RCMP helicopter that happened to be aloft at the time was sent to the area. Airborne officers spotted a man matching the suspected thief's description and relayed his locations to RCMP on the ground.
During the ensuing pursuit, several attempts were made by police to get the man on the bike to stop and dismount before the collision occurred, Mlait said.
"He knew exactly what he was doing. He didn't want to be stopped."
Police later said the man could face charges of theft, mischief, possession of break-in instruments and possession of stolen property. He will be held in custody to appear on his outstanding charge.

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