SPOKANE COUNTY, Wash --- A suspect stole a car Monday morning and led police on a dangerous car chase before escaping deputies.
On July 17 around 5:00 a.m. the Spokane County Sheriff’s deputies responded to assist Spokane County Fire with a welfare check in the 500 block of W. Bellwood Drive in north Spokane County, according to a Spokane County Sheriff’s press release.
SCFD personnel contacted the three occupants of the black Nissan Pathfinder, who were the subject of the welfare check. Reportedly they were all awake and the male driver said they were trying to find a place to sleep and did not need assistance. SCFD said it was unknown if the driver was under the influence of alcohol or drugs, but it was possible.
SCSO’s Deputy Hairston arrived on the scene and when he was told where the vehicle was located in the parking lot he saw the Pathfinder drive away and out of sight. He notified Deputy Kravstov of the information and shortly after he heard Kravstov announce, on the radio, the two passengers had jumped out of the vehicle before it drove away.
Deputy Hairston located the Pathfinder again near Hastings and Normandie, said the release. The car was reportedly driving at a high rate of speed and was swerving back and forth across both lanes. Deputies Hairston and B. Miller attempted to stop the vehicle for reckless driving and numerous other violations, but the driver continued his recklessness and failed to pull over, according to the press release.
When the suspect turned west on West Austin Road from North Dartford Drive, Deputy Miller conducted a PIT maneuver to try and stop the suspect safely. The maneuver was successful but when Deputy Hairston moved to block the suspect’s escape the driver got around him and drove into a field, said the release.
The abandoned vehicle was found a short time later in a wooded area near the 300 block of West Austin. When deputies checked the VIN they found the car was stolen, and there were no license plates on the vehicle. A K-9 track and search for the driver was unsuccessful at the time.
While the car was being towed to an impound lot the deputies responded to a reported burglary in progress in the area. Deputies quickly responded and learned the description of the burglary suspect matched the description of the fleeing driver, according to the police release.
The victim of the burglary said she had been told of the uncaptured suspect by a neighbor and armed herself with a handgun for safety. She said she heard a door to her house open, then an unknown male’s voice and footsteps in the residence. She hid behind a dresser until she noticed the suspect enter the room. She stood up and pointed the firearm at him and yelled at him to get out of the house. Reportedly the man ran out onto her deck, jumped off and kept running. She also reportedly fired a warning shot into the ground as the suspect fled because she was afraid and wanted to make sure he didn’t turn around and come back.
A perimeter was established and a K-9 track started before deputies learned the suspect stole an ATV to flee the area.
Deputies believe the suspect involved in both incidents is the same person but he was not located. Investigators are still looking into both incidents.
The suspect faces charges of possession of a stolen motor vehicle, eluding law enforcement, residential burglary, theft of a motor vehicle and second and third degree malicious mischief.
Anyone with information regarding these incidents should call Crime Check at 509-456-2233 and reference #10093044.