CRIME WATCH: What Saturday’s big Seattle Police pursuit was all about

We heard it – and others saw it: A dozen-plus Seattle Police units (per three readers’ counts) pursuing a car southbound on West Marginal Way just after 2 pm on Saturday afternoon. And today we know why. We also know it started outside West Seattle, thanks to this video from Patrick O’Connor:

He sent that to us on Sunday, explaining that it was recorded on 1st Avenue South in Pioneer Square, but we suspected it was the same incident, given the ~2 pm time frame and proximity to West Seattle. At the time of the pursuit, we heard the sirens from Puget Ridge, where we were covering the Seattle Chinese Garden Kite Festival. We opened a scanner app just in time to hear that whatever it was, was ending, with the pursued vehicle apparently having crossed the city-county line.

We couldn’t find out anything more over the weekend, so today we followed up with SPD’s media-relations team. Det. Mark Jamieson tells WSB, “This was a pursuit of a stolen car involved in several robberies from different jurisdictions. The pursuit was called off as it went across the county line.” He also sent the narrative, which has these additional details:

The officer who wrote the report was on patrol with his partner at Rainier and Graham (map) when they saw a silver Nissan Sentra pull into a gas station. The officers noted that the car resembled one to which they had been alerted the day before, with information from Bellevue Police saying the car was stolen and linked to thefts and robberies in Bellevue and Kirkland. They started to follow the car and then sought authorization for a pursuit, which the report says was eventually ordered terminated by a sergeant.

The officer writing the report noted that he felt a pursuit was warranted because, “Based on recent crime statistics, there has been an increase in robberies (strong-armed and armed) and other violent crimes in the Seattle area. Based on my training, experience, and research of the recent calls, I know that robbery suspects are commonly armed or threaten to use weapons during the commission of these crimes. Knowing that this vehicle was stolen and used in prior robberies and thefts, I felt that if these suspects were not immediately apprehended, they would be a greater danger to the public than if we had let them drive away.” The officer also wrote that further research suggested the same vehicle was linked to four Seattle incidents too.

11 Replies to "CRIME WATCH: What Saturday's big Seattle Police pursuit was all about"

  • Al June 26, 2017 (11:52 am)

    Did they get them?

  • JR June 26, 2017 (1:05 pm)

    Can’t they pursue across a county line?  At least until the pursuit is handed off to WSP or other agency??  If they’re worth chasing, they’re worth catching!!

  • Patrick O'Connort June 26, 2017 (1:09 pm)

    I’m disappointed that they called the pursuit off, almost very impressed that he was able to navigate downtown all the way through SODO onto West Marginal without hitting traffic.

  • ACG June 26, 2017 (1:11 pm)

    That’s a bummer if they didn’t catch them. I guess the criminals know if they run for the county border pursuits stop and they can get away?

  • Les June 26, 2017 (2:59 pm)

    I watched  that police pursuit  through Pioneer square and what I witnessed  was an extremely dangerous chase.  The police cars were going far to fast for the  very crowded  conditions.The police  cars were going about  60 MPH   down 1St Ave.  They should used a helicopter and not risked the lives of many. I do support the police and it’s unfortunate that the suspect got away.

  • JHC June 26, 2017 (4:54 pm)

    So, criminals can just keep driving, with cops cars following behind them, until they get over county line and then they’re just free to go? What the hell kind of policy is that?

  • dcn June 26, 2017 (6:58 pm)

    That must have been a pleasant surprise to the suspects to have all those police cars stop following once they crossed the county line. You never see that in the movies. I’ll file that in the “Good to Know” category, in case I’m ever chased by police. Head South. 

  • KittyJorts June 27, 2017 (10:15 am)

    I was sitting at a stoplight under the viaduct when the Nissan sped by, followed by by about 8 police vehicles. It is very fortunate that there were no crashes/injuries with all of the people out enjoying the sunshine and tourist attractions nearby.

    • WSB June 27, 2017 (10:23 am)

      I didn’t notice it until about the fourth time I looked at the video, but you can see a pedestrian in the crosswalk suddenly break into a sprint as the pursuit approaches. Close call. That’s one reason pursuits are not routine … and then there was the double-fatal crash that followed a pursuit in Highland Park last year, with the teenage pursuee hitting an uninvolved vehicle coming the other way, resulting in both drivers’ deaths. – TR

      • KittyJorts June 27, 2017 (12:32 pm)

        That’s right – I recall that Highland Park pursuit. Just terrible. 

        Good thing that pedestrian was paying attention!

        Thanks for your reporting on this – I tried looking for info on this in the days that followed, but was only coming up with details on the car chase in Kent.

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