Lacey hit and run driver arrested with fake driver's licenses of "exceptional quality"

Staff writerMarch 11, 2014 

Lacey police arrested a 34-year-old alleged hit-and-run driver Friday night and found evidence in the man's vehicle that he had committed identity theft - including two fake driver's licenses of "exceptional quality," court papers state.

"Both driver's licenses were of exceptional quality," reads the probable cause affidavit for Justin Pendleton's arrest. "In almost 10 years of law enforcement, the officer has never seen such high-quality fraudulent driver's licenses."

Pendleton, who is accused of fleeing the scene of a crash he caused in the 3600 block of College Street in Lacey about 4:45 p.m. Friday, was being held at the Thurston County Jail Tuesday with bail set at $12,000.

The crash caused the victim's vehicle to roll over onto its side, resulting in injury to the driver.

After Pendleton's arrest, a judge found probable cause Monday to support accusations of felony hit and run, unlawful possession of methamphetamine, first-degree identity theft and two counts of unlawful possession of fictitious identification.

Lacey police located and stopped a Dodge Durango Friday night, based on it fitting the description of the sport-utility vehicle with heavy front-end damage seen fleeing the College Street wreck Friday.

During the stop, the officer first noticed two laptops and "dozens of pieces of paper" in the vehicle, including W2 tax forms, housing applications and other forms containing the personal information of tons of people," court papers state.

The officer also found driver's licenses with two pictures of Pendleton, with two different names.

"The officer asked the male which one was his real identity," court papers state. "The male remained silent for several moments before stating that neither of them was his real identity."

Also according to court papers:

The officer confirmed the driver's name as Justin Pendleton, and found a sales receipt for the Dodge Durango indicating Pendleton had purchased it in February in another man's name.

A small baggie of methamphetamine was located on the center console.





Jeremy Pawloski: 360-754-5445;

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