Suspect in custody following vehicle theft, assault with gun

When an Olympia Police officer was dispatched around 9:00 am Saturday to take an auto theft report at the Les Schwab Tire Center on Plum Street, it seemed fairly routine. What followed was not routine at all.

When the OPD officer arrived, the victim told the officer that he had GPS tracking on his vehicle and it was currently pinging at the Fairfield Inn and Suites in Grand Mound. Officers with the Chehalis Tribal Police Department were sent to check for the vehicle, but it was gone by the time they got there.

The victim continued to track the vehicle, which was now on I-5 southbound headed towards Centralia. Washington State Patrol and Lewis County agencies were notified.

The vehicle was tracked to a parking lot in Lewis County, where officers attempted to make contact with the driver. However, the vehicle took off onto I-5 northbound, and officers could not pursue it under RCW 10.116.060. They disengaged.

According to those familiar with the situation, the owner of the vehicle and/or their family were still tracking it and caught up to it in the area of 93rd Ave SW & Lathrop Industrial Rd SW in Tumwater.

That’s when the suspect reportedly rammed into their car, got out of the vehicle armed with a shotgun or rifle, and ran into the woods nearby. Initial scanner traffic indicated shots had been fired by the suspect. Thurston County Sheriff’s deputies and Tumwater Police set containment on the area and a K-9 was called in.

Several hours later, after we had posted the suspect’s description on Facebook, a resident in the 9900 block of Nunn St SE called to report a male matching the description had just ran through her backyard and jumped the fence into a nearby distribution center.

Tumwater officers received information shortly after that indicating the suspect was possibly hiding in the bathroom at Lincoln Creek Lumber (Ace Hardware) on 93rd Ave SW. Officers made contact with the suspect and took him into custody.

The 36 year old suspect has been booked into jail on numerous felony charges – including Assault 1st Degree, Attempted Robbery 1st Degree, Malicious Mischief 1st Degree, Possession of Stolen Property 1st Degree, Hit and Run, and Theft 3rd Degree.

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