The man accused of taking a car with two children inside from a Lacey parking lot also is the suspect in a Thurston County rape and robbery, according to the Lacey Police Department.
The 24-year-old suspect was arrested Thursday in Portland and was booked into Thurston County Jail on suspicion of theft of a motor vehicle. After establishing that the man is also the suspect in a March 14 rape and robbery, recommended charges of first-degree rape and first-degree attempted robbery were added.
Lacey police Cmdr. Jim Mack said his department and the Thurston County Sheriff’s Office will release more information about the investigation Monday. The suspect will appear in Thurston County Superior Court on Monday at 3:30 p.m.
During that hearing, a judge will determine whether probable cause exists for the charges and establish conditions of release.
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Thurston County Sheriff’s deputies responded to reports of a rape on the 6100 block of Rainier Road Southeast about 8:30 p.m. A 26-year-old woman reported that she had been walking when someone grabbed her from behind and raped her. She said the suspect stole her belongings and ran away.
The suspect was spotted a few minutes later in a nearby Rite Aid drugstore. The Sheriff’s Office was able to produce a sketch of the suspect.
According to Lacey police, the same man is also accused of taking a car and two children from the parking lot of Paramount Christian Academy on Wednesday morning while the children’s mother was dropping off a third child at a before-school child care program. Lacey police responded to the scene about 7 a.m., and the car and children were found a few blocks away about 7:40 a.m. The suspect had walked away with a backpack from the car.
The suspect boarded an Amtrak train and traveled to Portland. He was arrested by Portland police on an outstanding warrant, and was identified as the suspect in the Lacey car theft.
Lacey detectives traveled to Portland to interview the suspect and return him back to Thurston County.