Alleged burglar takes Thurston County deputies on high speed chase to Lewis County

Thurston County Sheriff’s Office deputies reached speeds of up to 125 miles an hour on southbound Interstate 5 Monday morning while in pursuit of an alleged burglar in a stolen vehicle, according to Lt. Cliff Ziesemer.

About 8:30 a.m., a 51-year-old woman called 911 and said a man broke into her home in the 4500 block of Black Lake Belmore Road Southwest. She told authorities the man had held a 2-foot-long piece of wood that was an inch thick over her head, and said, “Give me your keys or I will smash you,” Ziesemer said.

“The victim started to retrieve her keys from her purse when the male observed cash in her purse,” he wrote in a news release. “He forcefully grabbed the cash and the keys from the victim.”

A neighbor heard the woman calling for help and armed himself with a pistol. The Sheriff’s Office initially reported that the victim had armed herself with a gun.

The man fled, drove the vehicle through a fence and almost struck three people, Ziesemer said.

Sheriff’s deputies chased the car on Interstate 5 into Lewis County, Ziesemer said. The car’s two front tires were flattened with spike strips at milepost 82 near Grand Mound, but the vehicle continued to travel at speeds of more than 100 miles per hour on the freeway, he said.

The car was finally stopped when it rear-ended another vehicle. Deputies then pushed the stolen vehicle into a cement barrier, Ziesemer said.

“(The driver) was checked by medics and released, and he is now in our Thurston County jail,” Ziesemer said.

The 33-year-old Portland man is under investigation for first-degree burglary, first-degree robbery, three counts of first-degree assault and eluding.

The driver of the other car sustained minor injuries, Ziesemer said. The burglary victim’s dog, which had jumped into the car when it was being stolen, is OK, too, he said.

The crash investigation closed the southbound lanes of I-5 near Grand Mound for about 45 minutes.