01/30/2013 09:54 EST | Updated 04/01/2013 05:12 EDT

Northern B.C. residents credited for tailing wanted couple

Mounties are crediting neighbours in a small town in northeastern B.C. for ignoring bone-chilling temperatures to tail two suspects wanted by police.

On Sunday, residents in Buick Creek noticed a man and woman wanted on outstanding warrants.

They contacted the closest RCMP detachment, located about 50 kilometres away in Fort St. John.

While waiting for police to arrive, the neighbours kept tabs on the couple.

"It was like a really elaborate neighborhood watch, where they were using radios to communicate from farm to farm, and they had their binoculars out watching where [the couple was] going and things like that,” said RCMP Cpl. Jodi Shelkie.

“They kept their distance and kept themselves safe."

The 28-year-old man and 24-year-old woman crashed a stolen pickup truck into a ditch and then, despite wearing light clothing, tried to flee on foot in wind chill that made temperatures feel close to –40 C.

The woman soon gave up but residents continued to chase the man as he tried to steal a second truck, crashed it, and then ran into a field where, after 90 minutes in freezing conditions, quickly surrendered to Mounties as they arrived.

Police say the man and woman are wanted on outstanding warrants, and they are recommending charges of robbery and possession of stolen property against John Keyler.