On Dec. 8, our detectives were notified that the Washington State Patrol’s airplane, Smokey, was tracking a stolen red Scion, equipped with LoJack, in the Fife area. The Scion had been stolen from Tacoma the previous day.
WSP troopers attempted to stop the Scion in Tacoma, but it fled the traffic stop, taking off at a high rate of speed and causing a hit-and-run collision. The Scion continued driving while Smokey kept eyes on it from above.
Smokey followed the Scion to Fife, where Fife officers attempted to stop it. Once again, it fled and got onto northbound I-5.
PSATT detectives in unmarked vehicles spotted the Scion in Federal Way and waited for it to stop somewhere before attempting contact. The Scion pulled into a fast-food restaurant parking lot in Federal Way, and the passenger went inside to order food. Detectives moved in and prevented the stolen vehicle from fleeing. The driver exited the vehicle and took off running on foot. Detectives chased the driver through the parking lot and into a fitness facility. Detectives followed the driver into an emergency exit hallway, where he attempted to hide. He was quickly taken into custody. The passenger was also located and taken into custody.
Detectives saw a handgun tucked between the driver’s seat and the center console. They retrieved it and determined it had been stolen in Tacoma. The driver admitted to stealing the vehicle and fleeing from police.
The 24-year-old male driver and the 23-year-old female passenger were both booked into the Pierce County Jail.
The Prosecutor’s Office charged the driver with burglary in the second degree, unlawful possession of a stolen vehicle, attempting to elude, and carrying a firearm without a permit. Bail was set at $30,000. Prosecutors also charged him with assault in the first degree for an incident that occurred in Fife in October. Bail in that case was set at $50,000.