One of the ‘most significant’ local crime sprees ever: man who stole police cruiser faces 54 charges

A 20-year-old man is facing a whopping 54 charges after being arrested in connection with an incident that saw Winnipeg police chasing one of their own vehicles from Headingley to Portage la Prairie.Early Thursday morning, police tracked a stolen Jeep down to the Flying J gas bar in Headingley, where two suspects jumped out and carjacked another vehicle.Officers rammed the freshly-stolen car, and the two men fled – with one hopping into an empty Winnipeg police cruiser, police said.Story continues below

READ MORE: Police car stolen at Headingley gas bar, leads Winnipeg cops on early-morning chaseOne officer was hit as the 20-year-old suspect fled, racing erratically down the TransCanada Highway at speeds of up to 200 km/h.Police said they were able to stop the vehicle at another Flying J, east of Portage la Prairie, with the use of a tire deflation device.The suspect fled and tried to carjack yet another vehicle, but local RCMP were able to arrest him.Police later connected the man to a string of other incidents dating back to February, including robberies, auto theft, break and enters, speeding, crack cocaine possession, and more.

The stolen Winnipeg police cruiser sits near Portage la Prairie Thursday morning.

The stolen Winnipeg police cruiser sits near Portage la Prairie Thursday morning.Rudi Pawlychyn/Global NewsTerry Jonathon Dutko’s charges also include dangerous driving, fleeing from police, assaulting a peace officer, disguise with intent, trespassing, and a long list of other offences.A second man, Melville Edwin Sanford, 37, is facing three counts of robbery, aggravated assault, and possessing property obtained by crime.“This is one of the most significant crime sprees I have ever reported on,” said Const. Rob Carver.“This is just an unbelievable set of events. I spent part of yesterday trying to make sense of what I could as it was unfolding.“It was almost impossible to connect all the dots… this would’ve been easier to explain if it had simply been a movie shoot in Winnipeg. Unfortunately it was real life.”WATCH: Winnipeg Police on a pair of suspects who literally ran into cops