Ted Allen’s Jewellery on Baker Street was burglarized on September 11. File photo

2017’s top stories No. 4: Nelson heist linked to fatal crash near Hope

Anthony Cortez, 38, was arrested in Revelstoke on September 20

A fatal crash near Hope that left a woman dead in September was linked to an earlier heist at a Nelson jewelry store.

RCMP say Anthony Creed Cortez, the man considered the suspect after a Sept. 11 crash that left Danielle Charlton, 35, dead, is also accused in a break-in and theft at Ted Allen’s Jewellery on Baker Street earlier the same day.

Police say the Baker Street store was robbed of $30,000 worth of merchandise by a suspect who then fled the scene in a stolen SUV with Charlton, a mother of four, in the front passenger seat. She was killed when the vehicle crashed east of Hope.

RCMP say the suspect fled the scene by stealing a Ford F350 truck from Good Samaritan who had stopped to help at the scene of the crash.

Cortez, 38, was arrested in Revelstoke on September 20. After a dramatic takedown, RCMP charged him with assaulting a police officer and obstructing or resisting the same officer.

He is also charged with possession of stolen property, a Kawasaki motorcycle, as well as breaching bail by carrying a knife.

Although Cortez has not been charged in the Hope crash, where he was alleged to have been driving a stolen SUV that crashed into a highway maintenance vehicle, Hope traffic services have stated that their suspect in now in police custody on an unrelated charge.

Cortez has since been charged by Chilliwack police with assaulting Charlton on April 16, five months before her death.

He is also charged with breaching a no-contact order with Charlton four times — one in April, one in May and two in June.

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Danielle Charlton, 35, died following a two-vehicle crash near Hope on Sept. 11. File photo.

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