ServiceMaster van carjacked, police chase ensues

The vehicle was recovered and the driver is in custody, but the case is still under investigation, said Sgt. Jean-François Martel of the New Brunswick RCMP. (David Bell/CBC - image credit)
The vehicle was recovered and the driver is in custody, but the case is still under investigation, said Sgt. Jean-François Martel of the New Brunswick RCMP. (David Bell/CBC - image credit)

A carjacking-turned-police chase on Wednesday morning started in Fredericton and moved eastward through the province, ending in the Salisbury area, says the van's owner.

The stolen van was recognizable because of its bright yellow exterior, according to Fredericton police spokesperson Sonya Gilks.

So when the first call to police came in around 7:40 a.m. about a stolen van on Brookside Drive, the second call to police about a vehicle driving "erratically" near Two Nations Crossing was easily linked to the theft.

The bright yellow box van belongs to ServiceMaster in Fredericton, a water-damage restoration company.

ServiceMaster president Chris Brown said one of his employees was on the way to a job site and while driving down Brookside Drive, someone jumped out in front of him and managed to open the driver's door. Brown said his employee relayed that the man told him to leave his wallet and cigarettes and get out.

Brown got a call from a friend a few minutes after the incident telling him one of his vans cut off his wife going at a "rapid speed." Brown remembers thinking it was odd, and at that point, one of his managers got a call from the employee who explained what happened.

Gary Moore/CBC file photo
Gary Moore/CBC file photo

"I wanted to make sure my employee was all right," said Brown, recounting the steps he took after finding out what happened.

Gilks said it wasn't long before the stolen vehicle breached city limits and was turned over to the RCMP. She said it's believed the vehicle went through the Pepper Creek subdivision toward Minto.

Sgt. Jean-François Martel from the New Brunswick RCMP said the vehicle was recovered and the driver is in custody, but the case is still under investigation.

Brown said ServiceMaster had GPS tracking on the van so they were able to witness the whole thing through their tracker. He said local police were great to communicate with and they were able to update police on the status of the tracker every so often.

He said he still isn't sure what shape the vehicle is in, but he is awaiting a call about how to get the van back.

Brown said this is the first time anything like this has happened to their business in the 40 years he's been there.

"I'm just glad everyone is OK," he said.