CRIME WATCH FOLLOWUP: Charges filed against suspect arrested after Beach Drive search

Getting followup information on criminal cases often takes a while. This is one example. But now we know a lot more about the suspect arrested on Beach Drive last Wednesday, including where the case stands and how the incident began.

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38-year-old Joshua C. Utecht is the man police arrested on Wednesday afternoon, found hiding under a deck/porch, allegedly after crashing a stolen Honda CR-V (described in court documents as having “stolen, swapped plates”) on Atlas Drive and bolting downslope to where he was found with the help of a K-9 team.

Utecht has since been charged with possession of a stolen vehicle and reckless driving. He also is being held on a warrant for escaping state Department of Corrections supervision. Court documents say he has been under DOC supervision for eight years, during which time he was found guilty of two robberies and a burglary. He had been under supervision since getting out of prison less than two years ago. And he is a fugitive from Louisiana.

The probable-cause document and police report say this all started with a call to police when a man and woman were seen acting suspiciously earlier Wednesday afternoon in the 6700 block of SW Holly and near 48th and Eddy. An officer arriving in the area spotted a suspicious vehicle in an alley between 47th and 48th, Juneau and Raymond. The officer checked its license-plate number and discovered the plate had been reported stolen. He spotted the woman who had gotten out of the car and yelled at her to get back into it; she just kept walking. Meantime, the car took off, headed northbound “at a high rate of speed” and went down Juneau to where it turns into Atlas, crashing into a garage, car, and pole in the 5900 block. Passengers pointed police to where they said a man had fled the car and headed downslope toward Beach Drive, dropping a folding knife – locked in the open position – as he ran.

Meantime, police discovered the stolen plate – missing since early March – didn’t match the car, whose ID number revealed it to have been stolen in January. After Utecht was found hiding on Beach Drive, he told a sergeant that the car was “borrowed.” He also said the woman who he had left behind in Seaview wasn’t involved in anything bad, while describing himself with an unflattering expletive. His last known address, as listed on the police report, was in the Alki area. He’s being held without bail on the escape charge, while bail for the new charges was set at $30,000. (We also looked up the case related to the escape charge. The “escape” – which, when related to supervision, is more like “not reporting in” – isn’t described, but the case itself traced back to November 2009, with Utecht found in White Center in a car stolen from Beacon Hill, then eluding a King County Sheriff’s Deputy in a high-speed chase, which ended with the car abandoned in Seola Beach and Utecht found by the Guardian One helicopter after running through a ravine and hiding in a shed.)

17 Replies to "CRIME WATCH FOLLOWUP: Charges filed against suspect arrested after Beach Drive search"

  • Alki Resident April 12, 2016 (6:43 pm)

    Seems like a nice guy.

    • JanS April 12, 2016 (10:33 pm)

      exactly my first thought – lol

  • Eric April 12, 2016 (7:19 pm)

    Utecht has since been charged with possession of a stolen vehicle and reckless driving. He also is being held on a warrant for escaping state Department of Corrections supervision. Court documents say he has been under DOC supervision for eight years, during which time he was found guilty of two robberies and a burglary. He had been under supervision since getting out of prison less than two years ago. And he is a fugitive from Louisiana.


    All I have to say is WTF?!!!! On so many levels

  • JustAsking April 12, 2016 (7:27 pm)

    Why didn’t we send him back to Louisiana when he was I.D.’d in our system as a fugitive?

    • WSB April 12, 2016 (7:32 pm)

      I don’t know anything about that case, pending a little more research.

  • NativetoSeattle April 12, 2016 (8:05 pm)

    Thank you to Seattle Police & for the neighbors reporting something suspicious. 

  • wb April 12, 2016 (9:53 pm)

    What about the woman?  Did they catch her as well? 

    • WSB April 12, 2016 (10:07 pm)

      Not mentioned in the report. I don’t know that there was any evidence she had committed any crime.

  • Aero April 13, 2016 (6:48 am)

    Hate to think we have a loser like this living in our neighborhood.

    • WSGirl April 13, 2016 (8:22 am)

      no kidding. if his last known residence was on alki… didn’t the property management company do a background check?! 

      • WSB April 13, 2016 (8:28 am)

        Might not have been a background check involved. We mention the last-known residence if/when that info is available; sometimes there seems to be an assumption that criminals all come here from somewhere outside WS, but that is often NOT the case. I don’t know if it’s a place where he lived alone, a place where he was staying with friends or relatives, or what. FWIW, the 2009 police report from King County filled out that same line as “transient/White Center.” So … who knows. If I get some time today after a few stories waiting to be written, I’m going to look around to see if more of that Louisiana background is available online anywhere. – Tracy

  • Brian April 13, 2016 (9:51 am)

    It must be tough going through life without sleeves. We can’t truly know his pain until we walk a mile in his cutoffs.

  • JulNJer April 13, 2016 (5:11 pm)

    Brian, all I know is that jean shorts chafe. 

  • BERL April 13, 2016 (11:55 pm)

    Thanks Tracy for your follow up. 

  • Ben April 16, 2016 (3:39 pm)

    Wonder if he stole our car sunday night on 36th and juneau..  

    • WSB April 16, 2016 (4:19 pm)

      He’s been in jail since April 6th.

  • J. Dubghail April 30, 2016 (10:15 pm)

    Coincedently this man is not quite thecwreckng ball it seems. I had someone work with me and needed a secondary muscle and this guy Josh came to help. No knowledge of him or any of his backround he was very helpful and extremely intelligent. It is very unfortunate to find out this has happen. Someone forwarded me this. I had a instinct he has seen hard times but I have worked with many craftsmen, trade professionals and local associates and rarely have contact with what I would call genuine and rare experience. In the short time working with him he rubbed off in a very classic true fashion. I trully am in disbelief the way this story is portrayed. He was a very humble person and had plenty of knowledge and opportunity to take advantage of our surplus and tools. Nothing bad happen working with him and in his own ways made a very beneficial impact during his time. The person that had introduced him was much less worthy. I never for a second would doubt him. But you never know people really. He seemed like a down on his luck, shy at the the most. He seemed like he could be taken advantage of quite easy which makes me wonder about the woman. I no longer work in the trade but I am trully sadened to read the comments, people shouldbt judge so quickly. There must have been an absolute circumstance that prevented him from taking care business. I know several West Seattle business individuals that would absolutely hire him full time. Dam is all I can say. He is not a threa… I know this. He spent long hours and was very outgoing. 

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