Merritt Mounties apprehended a car thief who stole a pickup truck in Logan Lake earlier this week.

Merritt RCMP received word from Logan Lake’s police detachment on Monday to be on the lookout for a Dodge pickup truck, which a highway patrol officer spotted outside the Merritt Visitor Centre at 4 p.m. that day.

“When the member tried to engage, the vehicle took off and headed east on Highway 97C,” RCMP Const. Tracy Dunsmore said.

The officer didn’t engage in a pursuit of the vehicle, but did follow the truck up the highway and located the vehicle about 50 kilometres east of Merritt.

The vehicle was smoking and losing a lot of its fluids, Dunsmore said.

“He wasn’t able to drive very fast,” she said of the driver of the stolen vehicle.

The driver then went through the median and started heading westbound in the eastbound lane.

“He didn’t get very far. He pulled back in to the median because the engine caught on fire,” Dunsmore said.

At this point there were two police cars on scene, and when the driver pulled over, police were able to arrest him.

The stolen vehicle, however, was left to burn.

Officers had a couple of fire extinguishers they used to try and extinguish the flames, but were unsuccessful, Dunsmore said.

The 36-year-old driver was charged with dangerous operation of a motor vehicle, failing to stop for police and possession of stolen property over $5,000.

He has warrants for his arrest in the Lower Mainland for assault with a weapon and identity fraud.