A member of the Vernon & Area Community Forum on Facebook shared a photograph of the police incident that had a portion of Brooks Lane blocked off Wednesday, Aug. 19, 2020, in Vernon. (Cora-Lee Lulu - Facebook)

A member of the Vernon & Area Community Forum on Facebook shared a photograph of the police incident that had a portion of Brooks Lane blocked off Wednesday, Aug. 19, 2020, in Vernon. (Cora-Lee Lulu - Facebook)

Stolen vehicle recovered from site of Vernon manhunt for wanted man

Police return to Brooks Lane in response to reports of suspicious vehicle

  • Sep. 21, 2020 12:00 a.m.

Reports of a suspicious vehicle in a lakeside Vernon neighbourhood led police back to the scene of an August manhunt for a man wanted across the country.

Vernon North Okanagan RCMP responded to reports of a suspicious vehicle on Brooks Lane Monday morning (Sept. 21).

Police confirmed the vehicle was stolen from a neighbouring jurisdiction and have since recovered it and notified the rightful owner.

No arrests have been made, according to Vernon North Okanagan RCMP media relations officer Const. Chris Terleski, and the investigation is ongoing.

On Aug. 19, police swarmed the neighbourhood off Okanagan Landing Road in search of 30-year-old Robert Gordon Heltman, wanted across Canada for breaching conditions of his statutory release.

An hours-long police investigation concluded once a secondary dwelling was entered. Heltman wasn’t there but a search of the home uncovered a loaded handgun which was seized.

In January 2018, Heltman was issued a lifetime firearms ban and given jail time after being found guilty of possession of a restricted firearm, controlled substance for the purpose of trafficking and breaching probation in Prince George.

Heltman’s court records date back to 2009 to incidents in Vernon and Armstrong. Charges include assault, possession of a weapon and theft under $5,000.

A matching Facebook profile indicates he attended Pleasant Valley Secondary School in Armstrong.

Heltman is described as 6-foot-3, 232-pound Caucasian man with brown hair and blue eyes. He has tattoos depicting a skull and flames on his right forearm with the word “Cathy,” and “SC” on his right wrist.

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