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Calgary father, daughter pulled over at gunpoint for swapped licence plate

A Calgary father and his teen-aged daughter are struggling to sleep at night after a road trip to central Alberta on Jan. 2 that took an unlikely turn.

“(It was a) terrifying situation, unbelievable terrifying,” said Trevor Mantey.

Mantey was travelling on a secondary highway about five minutes out of Sylvan Lake in his gold Tahoe SUV when he noticed RCMP officers laying in the ditches.

“Out of nowhere there was a spike strip yanked across the highway in front of us,” he said. “I hammered on the brakes and stopped maybe three feet in front of it.

“It didn’t pop my tires — I got lucky there — but looked to my right window and there was a police officer with a gun drawn on me and my daughter, telling us to put our hands in the air and we had no idea what was going on,” said Trevor.

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Click to play video: 'Rising trend of stolen licence plates sparks concern'

Rising trend of stolen licence plates sparks concern

He said he was handcuffed and forced to lay face down on the ground where he was patted down. He said he was worried sick about his daughter, who was taken to the other side of the vehicle and out of his view.

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“This was traumatizing,” said 15-year-old Kallie Mantey. “There were dogs, there were guns, there was cops everywhere. They closed off the whole highway.”

Both Trevor and Kallie said they were told they were being arrested for possession of stolen property.

“I don’t know if you guys have ever had a gun pointed at you, but it’s not a great feeling — a little nerve wracking,” said Trevor.

But after a few minutes it became clear.

Click to play video: 'Operation Cold Start'

Operation Cold Start

“I had my hands up on the driver’s side of my truck and as I got to the backside of my truck, I said ‘That’s not my license plate,’” he said

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Mantey believed his legal plate was swapped with one from a stolen vehicle.

He said the situation diffused after officers checked his licence and registration. The pair was released without any charges.

He said officers took the plate and escorted them to the registry office for a new one and they were on their way, reeling from the experience.

“This can’t happen to people. If my daughter would have been driving, there’s a good possibility we could be on the roof in the ditch,” said Trevor.

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Alberta couple’s $48K truck purchase turns into stolen vehicle nightmare

RCMP said their reaction to situations like this are warranted when criminals are behind the wheel.

“Stolen vehicles often fail to stop for us and we are trying to stop dangerous driving, dangerous pursuits that may put risk to the public,” saidCpl. Troy Savinkoff.

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RCMP remind people to check their plates before they hit the road, something Trevor Mantey is now doing.

&© 2024 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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