Stolen vehicle investigation hampered by pursuit laws; arrest made thanks to witness reports

A 42-year-old Tacoma man is in custody after he stole a car from the Walmart parking lot and fled from officers.

The Aberdeen Police Department shared that officers were called on the report of a suspicious male looking into vehicle windows of vehicles in the parking lot. 

Witnesses told police that the man entered a green colored Honda Accord. 

Aberdeen Officers arrived to see the vehicle as it was leaving westbound on Wishkah Street, although at that time were not fully aware if a crime had occurred and were unable to perform a stop due to recent changes in Washington State Law. When the vehicle made a traffic violation, an officer attempted a traffic stop, although the driver continued at a slow speed.

When an additional officer arrived in the area, the driver began fleeing at a high rate of speed, disobeying traffic signs and driving recklessly. APD tells KXRO that even with that change in driving pattern, officers were unable to continue pursuit due to it not meeting criteria under the new law and no additional attempts were made to stop the vehicle.

After witness reports, officers found the vehicle parked in the area of Arnold Hill, and located the driver in the vicinity. 

The man was taken into custody and booked into the Aberdeen City Jail for investigation of Felony Eluding, Theft of a Motor Vehicle, and Driving While License Suspended 3 rd degree. 

The vehicle was then returned to the owner.

“The actions of this subject created an unnecessary danger to those in our community. We would like to thank the citizens of Aberdeen who helped our officers locate the vehicle that resulted in the suspects arrest.”