08/23/2013 10:09 EDT | Updated 10/23/2013 05:12 EDT

Empty fuel tank helps B.C. Mounties nab suspect near Okanagan gas station

VANCOUVER - Mounties in British Columbia's south Okanagan say an empty gas tank helped stop a fleeing motorist who eluded several cruisers and even collided with one police car.

The pursuit began late Thursday night when a uniformed RCMP officer in Summerland noticed a red Ford SUV travelling at a high rate of speed on Highway 97 toward Penticton.

Mounties say the officer notified colleagues in Penticton, which is located about 20 kilometres away, but police decided to break off the pursuit because of high speeds and public-safety.

They say the motorist made it to Oliver, B.C., which is another 36 kilometres away, where he allegedly collided with a police car almost head on while pulling a U-turn, before driving off.

Mounties say plainclothes officers then observed a "nervous male" filling up a fuel can at an Oliver gas station and followed him back to a 2001 Ford Explorer.

The 21-year-old man is in custody in Kamloops, and police say he is wanted on numerous warrants from Manitoba and will appear in a Penticton court on Monday.