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Deputies arrest vehicle theft suspect hiding in woods in South Pierce County

Today, prosecutors filed multiple charges against 29-year-old Michael Lavallie as follows…

For yesterdays’ incident:
Unlawful possession of a stolen vehicle
Motor vehicle theft
Attempting to elude officers
Malicious mischief in the second degree

Bail set at $100,000

For July 3 incident involving Eatonville officers:
Assault in the second degree
Unlawful possession of a stolen vehicle

Bail set at $500,000

For a June 14 incident:
Unlawful possession of a stolen vehicle

Bail set at $50,000

At the time of his arrest, Lavallie also had two warrants for failing to appear on felony charges. He is being held without bail for those two cases.

***UPDATE 7/13, 7:15AM***

The suspect was located last night and has been booked into jail.

At 8:17 p.m., a woman called 911 to report that her husband located the suspect in their cow pasture in the 15500 block of Alder Mashell Rd E. The woman said her husband was going to pretend to not know who the suspect was and give him a ride. He then wanted deputies to pull him over and arrest the suspect. Deputies and Eatonville officers rushed to the location. They spotted the husband’s truck as it reached Alder Cutoff Rd E and conducted a high-risk stop. The suspect was taken into custody without further incident. He was covered in cuts and scrapes from running through the woods. We officially confirmed that the suspect is the same man who was wanted for ramming an Eatonville officer’s patrol car on July 3 while he tried to flee in a stolen vehicle.

More details about yesterday’s incident:

At 9:43 a.m., a Mountain Detachment deputy spotted a suspicious vehicle that was leaving a gas station near Meridian E and Eatonville Cutoff Rd E, just north of Eatonville.

A records check revealed that the vehicle (which was towing a trailer with a small tractor) was stolen, so the deputy got on the radio to notify Eatonville officers that it was headed their way. An alert Eatonville officer deployed stop sticks, which the vehicle hit as it travelled south on Meridian E.

The vehicle, which now had a flat tire, continued up the hill at relatively slow speeds, through Eatonville and onto Alder Cutoff Rd E. He turned onto Scott Turner Rd E as deputies and officers followed.

The suspect fled from the vehicle on foot and into the woods. Deputies set up a containment area and started a K9 track. Fifteen minutes into the track, and while the K9 was tracking the suspect’s scent, a 911 caller reported that her pickup truck was just stolen from the same area and that her husband was attempting to follow it in another vehicle.

Deputies discontinued the K9 track and began searching the area for the stolen pickup truck. A King County Sheriff’s Department helicopter attempted to assist from the air, but the clouds were too low as they got close to the mountains, and they had to turn around. Our traffic unit deployed its drone instead and the search continued.

Just before 11:00 a.m., the pickup was located at the end of 452nd St E; it had been abandoned and a chainsaw was missing. The K9 unit responded to the location, but the dog was too tired to start another grueling track. There were no other K9 units available to assist.

Deputies maintained key positions, checking vehicles traveling down the main roads.

Eventually the search had to be called off, as the suspect fled in an unknown direction into a wildland area that stretches all the way to Mt. Rainier.

Deputies are asking residents and travelers to be on the lookout for suspicious persons and/or vehicles in the area of Scott Turner Rd E, just south of Eatonville.

They are searching for a vehicle theft suspect who fled from our deputies and Eatonville officers this morning. He was last seen on foot just east of the 17500 block of 452nd St E. We believe that he is likely hiding somewhere in the vast wilderness and will try to get back to a main road once our deputies leave the area.

If you live in the area near Scott Turner Rd E, please make sure that your homes and vehicles are locked and there are no keys inside your vehicles. During our pursuit today, the suspect ditched the first vehicle, fled on foot for a bit, and then stole a pickup truck, which later got stuck, forcing him to flee on foot again.

The suspect is described as a white male, approximately 30 years old, with brown hair and a beard. He may or may not still be wearing a dark-colored shirt.

If you notice any suspicious persons or vehicles in the area, please call 911 immediately. Do not confront the suspect.