It was a long pursuit, but not a dangerous one.
Ontario Provincial Police followed a stolen flatbed truck Monday for more than five hours, through more than a dozen municipalities and never going faster than 105 kilometres an hour, before the driver - inexplicably - pulled off the road at the Plains Road East/ Fairview Street exit to surrender.
Despite the long drive, there was still gas in the truck, but cruisers had to refuel along the way.
As word spread on social media about the pursuit, people began to gather on QEW overpasses in Niagara to wave and take pictures of the convoy.
By that point, the driver was being trailed by a slew of unmarked police cruisers and a caravan of media.
The man said nothing as police approached the truck's cab and arrested him, said OPP Sergeant Dave Woodford.
"We don't have any idea why at this point."
Woodford said late Monday police didn't expect to release the name of the suspect or any associated charges until today.
Margaret Townsley, owner of J-Line Transport Limited in Beamsville, Ont., said they believe the truck went missing from a Husky truck stop on York Road in St. Catharines around 4 a.m.
She said there was a load of waferboard on the tractor-trailer when it went missing, but that cargo was gone by the time the chase began.
The man seen driving the tractor-trailer during the chase is unknown to her company, Townsley said.
Niagara police received a report that the truck had been stolen at about 7 a.m. and OPP spotted it on the QEW at Walkers Line about one hour later.
The officer attempted to pull the truck over, but when it exited the highway, the officer suspended the chase, Woodford said.
The truck made its way through Halton Region onto the 407 and then the 401 in Milton, where it headed west towards the London area, Woodford said.
Somewhere near Woodstock, it turned around and returned to Toronto via the 401, cut down the 427 and then headed west again on the QEW.
It again turned around in Fort Erie after OPP said they notified the Canada Border Services Agency about the truck potentially coming to the border, Woodford said.
It passed over the Burlington Skyway and then slowly came to a stop around 1:30 p.m.
Traffic came to a complete standstill on the QEW for about 15 minutes as police made their arrest. Motorists who got out of their cars said they couldn't believe how long it took.
About 10 cruisers hung on for most of the journey, with other local districts jumping in and out based on their jurisdictions. In an effort not to spook the driver or alarm the public, the unmarked cruisers followed with only their rear lights flashing, Woodford said.
The chase is one the longest - and certainly most unusual - in OPP history. "It's my first time seeing something like this," Woodford said.
It would not have been safe for police or the public to try to block the transport in or use a spike belt to deflate the tires, he said, adding the driver, while fleeing from police, was travelling safely on the highway.
"He was not driving erratically ... (he was) slowing down with traffic and signalling lane changes," Woodford said.
There were no crashes or injuries during the long ordeal.
Given the number of communities the driver passed through, the various police services involved were expected to meet at the Burlington OPP detachment on North Shore Boulevard East, where the suspect was detained for questioning Monday night.
The truck was also towed to that location.
With files from Danielle Wong
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