Crime

Caught, escaped and caught again: Car-theft suspect leads cops on wild chase

Thurston Sheriff's car, foot and K9 pursuit ends in arrest in Tillicum

Thurston County Sheriff's deputies, Lakewood police, and the Washington State Patrol search for a suspect in Tillicum early Saturday morning.
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Thurston County Sheriff's deputies, Lakewood police, and the Washington State Patrol search for a suspect in Tillicum early Saturday morning.

An alleged car thief was apprehended after a car chase, escaped and was apprehended again after a foot chase Saturday morning.

The incident began just before 7 a.m. in Olympia, where a caller reported that their 2012 Lexus had just been stolen.

Fifteen minutes later, a Thurston County Sheriff’s deputy was patrolling northbound Interstate 5.

“He was exiting onto Mounts Road and noticed a vehicle that matched the description,” Thurston County Sheriff’s Sgt. David Claridge said.

The deputy immediately returned to the freeway and followed the vehicle in Pierce County.

Normally, deputies wait for backup before stopping a stolen car, Claridge said. But in this case, the driver was making erratic lane changes.

“Because of the erratic and weird lane changes the vehicle was making, he decided to initiate a traffic stop,” Claridge said.

Between mileposts 122 and 123 near Thorne Lane in Lakewood, the driver of the stolen vehicle lost control of the car, spun and struck another vehicle. Traffic was light at the time, Claridge said.

The stolen vehicle came to rest on the shoulder.

After a short foot pursuit, the deputy took a female suspect into custody.

He then went to check on the occupants of the other vehicle.

There were no injuries.

But while the deputy was checking on the other vehicle, the suspect was somehow able to escape the deputy’s car.

The suspect then ran across all lanes of Interstate 5, jumped a fence and ran into a residential area.

The deputy followed.

Eventually, about 15 officers from Thurston County, Washington State Patrol and Lakewood Police took part in the search.

A K-9 officer from Thurston County located the suspect in a backyard, and she was again taken into custody.

While the suspect was uninjured, an officer was slightly cut on fencing.

Craig Sailor: 253-597-8541,

@crsailor

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