VIDEO: Stolen car crashes, burns in Arbor Heights, driver flees

(Added: Reader video by Tracy. Alert, ambient sound includes profanity)

9:55 PM: In case you’re hearing the sirens: What we tuned into as King County Sheriff’s Office deputies followed/pursued a car into Arbor Heights has ended in a “car fire” call at California/106th [map]. Before that, a deputy had reported that the car’s driver tried to ram her at some point east of there. The driver has apparently bolted, as a K-9 team is being summoned to help search.

10:12 PM: Added reader video of the burning car. No report yet of an arrest. We aren’t sure yet what started this – except that it started somewhere east (25th/106th was the first location check we heard over the sheriff’s frequency).

10:30 PM: Tracy, who sent the video, says the fire is out but the search continues. Meantime, this photo also has been sent to us:

(Photo courtesy Robin)

10:47 PM: KCSO spokesperson Sgt. Ryan Abbott tells WSB the car involved was stolen car and that it indeed “rammed a Deputy,” who is OK. Meantime, a commenter reports seeing how it all started near 16th/107th in White Center. And nearby resident Tracy says SFD has departed – here’s the car, post-fire:

11:33 PM: Haven’t heard any updates for a while.

ADDED 12:10 PM MONDAY: Followed up today with Sgt. Abbott of KCSO. He confirms that the suspect has NOT been found. We also asked about the circumstances of the original car theft. He says it was taken in White Center – 1200 block of SW 107th – two weeks ago: “The victim had started his car to warm it up in the morning of 03/11 and when he returned to it, the car was gone.” It’s a 2007 Chrysler 300.

61 Replies to "VIDEO: Stolen car crashes, burns in Arbor Heights, driver flees"

  • Tony March 24, 2019 (9:58 pm)

    Large police response racing up California 

  • JR March 24, 2019 (10:00 pm)

    I can still hear the sirens leaving my street and you’ve already got it posted!  I knew I could count on you. Thankful Neighbor 

    • AK-dV March 24, 2019 (10:16 pm)

      Still hear the sirens sporadically out there. They still haven’t found this driver yet?

  • Kimberly March 24, 2019 (10:04 pm)

    Thank you for posting this!    

  • Cris March 24, 2019 (10:06 pm)

    Are they chasing someone? They are driving around my block of 142nd Ave SW it seems they are trying to flush someone out.

  • Jr March 24, 2019 (10:06 pm)

    We’re on 106th just 5 blocks away. Yikes! We got our doors locked! Saw about 8-10 officers go by our house so far. 

  • ER March 24, 2019 (10:11 pm)

    Mulitple police vehicles going up and down the hill in the Arroyos neighborhood. Driving slow with lights on, spotlighting yards, and beeping sirens.

  • Elle March 24, 2019 (10:12 pm)

    Yes, thank you WSB. I’m on California Ave in AH and was worried until I read your post. Lots of lights, sirens activity here. 

  • Susan Roth March 24, 2019 (10:12 pm)

    sirens continuing in upper arroyos

  • Michael March 24, 2019 (10:14 pm)

    Is there a description of the driver available?

  • Diane Ferrero March 24, 2019 (10:15 pm)

    4 police cars with spotlights searching in the Arroyos right now.  Lots of police action.

  • Dana March 24, 2019 (10:20 pm)

    Police cars going up and down the Arroyos 

  • Tyler March 24, 2019 (10:22 pm)

    Patrol cars at Seola Beach bend where 35th becomes MVD and our block, 107th & 37th. Cordoning off neighborhood.

  • Pam March 24, 2019 (10:23 pm)

    There have been 5 cop cars searching our street on 109th and Marine View. Still making rounds. 

  • Chris March 24, 2019 (10:26 pm)

    Currently several police cars with searchlights in the lower Arroyos

  • Neighbor March 24, 2019 (10:37 pm)

    Have patrol car at corner of our block, 35th & 107th, cordoning off perimeter.

  • WSB March 24, 2019 (10:41 pm)

    Regarding the sirens: As was explained in discussion on recent coverage of another search, the siren bursts are often used when K9s are searching (as is the case here). Keeps the suspect guessing, apparently.

    • Lon March 24, 2019 (10:44 pm)

      I was wondering about that. Thanks for explaining.

    • AJ March 24, 2019 (10:58 pm)

      When a K9 track is being conducted, officers will set up “containment” by positioning patrol cars around the area where the suspect was last seen. The lights and sirens are used in hopes that the suspect will “go to ground”, or hide, so the K9 wil have a better chance of locating them…

  • # March 24, 2019 (10:45 pm)

    It started at 9:45 pm in the parking lot of the apartment complex next the Barraza Law Office (south side) on 16th Ave.   Two deputy vehicles were in the lot as I passed the apartment complex.  I stopped at the light at Taco Bell to turn left (westbound) onto 107th.  A black car quickly departed the apartment complex, drove north, almost hit me, and turned left using the oncoming traffic lanes.  One of the deputys chased while one held back.  As I travelled west on 107th as is turned into 106th, you could smell the burning rubber and brakes.  Occasionally you could see skid marks along the drive.  Another deputy passed me just west of 35th.  As I turned north onto California, the deputys were out on foot at California and 106th.  The car fire must have started immediately after that.  I did not see any flames as I turned to go home.

    • WSB March 24, 2019 (10:46 pm)

      Thanks. I also just got a bit of info from KCSO that I’m adding above.

  • Mamabear March 24, 2019 (11:00 pm)

    Cops found a black leather jacket in our backyard – the driver ran through our yard…we are on 107th. Stay inside and arm your house if you can. Scary times.

    • Jr March 24, 2019 (11:17 pm)

      How long ago? I’m on 106th and I’m tired but can’t sleep knowing this guy is out there. 

    • AmyC March 24, 2019 (11:29 pm)

      We are on 107th, too, @Mamabear. Any chance you’d share your approximate cross-street or block range?

  • John March 24, 2019 (11:15 pm)

    Where is guardian one?

  • Jason March 24, 2019 (11:15 pm)

    Still searching house to house.  The K9 unit just did our house at California and Marine View

  • Alki resident March 24, 2019 (11:18 pm)

    Look at that car. Isn’t it the one people have been looking for that’s been seen doing package thefts etc in this area recently?

    • Formerly WS March 25, 2019 (8:43 am)

      That sure does look like the car that was caught on camera in a burglary and car prowls (multiple car prowls on multiple days) in the Shorewood on the Sound neighborhood. 

    • Formerly WS March 25, 2019 (8:46 am)

      It does!!!! A black Chrysler 300 with black wheels and tinted windows was caught on camera burglarizing a house and multiple car prowls in the Shorewood on the Sound neighborhood last week!!! 

  • Mike March 24, 2019 (11:33 pm)

    I heard the car coming down 106th as it switches to 107th, sounded like someone revving up their engine pausing and revving again all the way (probably as they made the turn down the hill). I didn’t think anything of it, because we hear idiots going up and down the hill like that all the time. This time sirens followed shortly thereafter (10-20 seconds), followed my more and more sirens. Hope they catch the guy.

  • Rick Van El March 24, 2019 (11:35 pm)

    I just saw a guy running really fast through the cut through path at SW 108th st and 35 Ave SW!No coat on!

    • WSB March 24, 2019 (11:37 pm)

      Hope you have called 911 to report that!

  • Nbr March 24, 2019 (11:42 pm)

    Did you call this in?

  • Alki resident March 24, 2019 (11:55 pm)

    Why isn’t the bird up by now? This is rediculous. He’s running, he must get caught before someone gets hurt.

    • WSB March 25, 2019 (12:00 am)

      Guardian One is not always available. If it were available tonight it would certainly be useful – besides this, there’s also an arsonist currently running around SODO.

      • Alki resident March 25, 2019 (12:06 am)

        I’m so ready to move. My kids can’t be living in this city anymore, we’ve lost all control and I’ve lost all hope that Seattle will restore peace. Went through Sodo last nite for Supercross, had to walk for blocks to park. Meanwhile passing the nastiest smelling sidewalks and whatnot to get there. I’m at a loss. 

        • AH Resident March 25, 2019 (7:48 am)

          What a stupid thing to say. This can happen anywhere. Please move if you’re going to move. We don’t need you. Wherever you move to this kind of thing can happen!!!!

    • AmyC March 25, 2019 (12:04 am) says they operate 6 days a week…maybe Sundays are the off day?

  • Christina March 25, 2019 (12:00 am)

    This happened right in front of our house. This is when the car was on fire. 

  • ZZT March 25, 2019 (12:07 am)

    Has there been any indication that the suspect has been caught? 

    • WSB March 25, 2019 (12:20 am)

      Haven’t heard anything further on either the SPD local frequency or the KCSO frequency, which could mean anything from, search hit a dead end and it’s over, to, they’re all coordinating on a frequency I don’t have.

  • Ws prayers March 25, 2019 (12:40 am)

    Oh my God!! What is going on???!!! I can’t beleive this!! I can honestly say I am grateful I know this time….was not my child-wow just wow!! Unbelievable. ….I’m still I shock …from what I have been thro today just wow….when I say I pray I mean I honestly do-and I have been taking action been attending meetings laws need to change seriously!! This is way too much as soon as I can as soon as responsibility is taken  ….it’s time to move us out-this is way too much it really is

    • Common sense March 25, 2019 (7:39 am)

      I’m pretty sure stealing a car, running from and ramming police is already illegal. What laws need to change?

  • Mamabear March 25, 2019 (7:21 am)

    Sorry I didn’t respond to this last night!  We are closer to California on 107th (on north side of street) and we bump up against the houses on 106th (where the car was on fire). We are pretty sure he fled on 106th and cut through one of those yards, hopped a fence and landed in our fenced in yard. His jacket was found on our fence as he was trying to get out the other side (towards the front of our house). Not sure where he went from there but cops and K9 unit did a few passes with our neighbor’s house next door and across the street. He did some damage in our backyard – including getting  wet from falling/walking on our winter pool cover so I hope he froze during the night. Best part is our fence gate was actually unlocked as we were doing some work, so he had to put in extra effort in his flee. I hate that these fools make me feel unsafe in my own home…would love an update on if they found him!

  • AH neighbor March 25, 2019 (8:02 am)

    I checked with a neighborhood SPD officer we became friends with who used to be in West Seattle. This is what she said“The case number for the incident last night was 2019-105266. It looks like SPD was assisting KCSO with a canine track through your neighborhood. SPD did not report an arrest, but since it was KCSO’s call, they may have made an arrest.”but she doesn’t have access to their system. So not sure. 

  • Aly March 25, 2019 (8:13 am)

    I live on 102nd and from 9:45 to 10:30 there was a hug police presence on my street.  Mamabear, super scary that he was in your backyard. I was worried about that here, as my driveway is long and dark and the cops kept stopping right in front of my house and shining their light down my driveway. I hope they catch this asshat and I hope they update when they do. It’s unsettling not knowing. 

  • Melissa March 25, 2019 (9:53 am)

    Hey folks who are worried, please know that he’s almost certainly no longer in the neighborhood. And yes, it was scary. And crazy. But please remember that the crime rate in this city (both property crime and violent crime) has dropped substantially in the last 30 years. We are safer now. We also have an abundance of information when things go wrong, but not such an abundance when things go right. Between 1990 and 2016, violent crime (including murder), as well as the general crime rate, has declined by half. Please see the appendix of this report (cities are alphabetized).

    • JO March 25, 2019 (11:54 am)

      This is so important to remember. Scary stuff happens sometimes no matter where you live. Part of what makes it seem super scary is we have so much visibility to what’s happening. Calm and/or peaceful doesn’t make the newsfeeds. AND we live in such a great neighborhood where people watch out for each other and we have an incredibly well connected network of news sources to help us stay informed so we can help whenever we’re needed. Thanks for the reminder! 

      • WSB March 25, 2019 (12:08 pm)

        I know what you mean but for people who only check out WSB when news is breaking … we DO report “calm and peaceful,” a lot! From community events to daily calendar highlights with (when available) pretty pictures :) The past 24 hours have been a little unusual, with, now, THREE crashes of note. By the way I just got more followup info on this one and it’ll be added above shortly. Headline, though – the driver who fled has NOT been found. – TR

  • C March 25, 2019 (12:16 pm)

    I live on 106th between 26th and 35th. One of my roommates and I were watching as cop after cop sped up the street with their lights and sirens on. Moments before I do remember hearing another car speeding on by and had been wondering if that’s who they were pursuing. Guess so. Crazy!!!

  • Melissa March 25, 2019 (12:30 pm)

    I did not mean this as a criticism of you, WSB. I’m very grateful for the balance in your reporting.  I’m referring to what we see just about everywhere else.  And the prophets of gloom and doom who are convinced that we’re under siege in Seattle. Thanks for what you do. 

  • MattS March 25, 2019 (2:15 pm)

    I appreciate what Melissa added, and am ALWAYS appreciative of WSB. I agree that social media can make crime seem rampant. Where will you go to get away from it? I have friends who live in the middle of nowhere. Guess what they have there? Unemployment, drugs, shootings, plus they are a lonnng way out if they do need a police response. Then again, in the city you have a much higher density of people, so naturally there is also more crime, but a swifter response. Don’t get me wrong: if you just want to buy 50 acres somewhere and hole up with guns and ammo, I support you, but don’t pretend there’s some perfect place in the U.S. where everyone is happy and crime doesn’t exist.

  • Peanutgallery March 25, 2019 (2:57 pm)

    So I just noticed that the victim of the theft lived on 107th, and the theft took place 2 weeks ago. The crash & burn happened at the West end of 106th… Which isn’t that far from where it was taken… So either the thief is pretty stupid (pretty good chance in any case) and continued to drive the car around the same neighborhood from which it was taken, OR there’s something afoot other than a straight up theft. An insurance matter perhaps?

  • James March 25, 2019 (3:59 pm)

    Why wasn’t the crackhead woman with him Question? She knows who he is… 

  • Steven March 25, 2019 (4:06 pm)

    Any idea if the muffler on this car was loud? This matches the description of a car that was involved in a case report I filled with KCSO regarding behavior at 18th SW and SW 98th in White Center last Thursday. The vehicle reappeared this Saturday afternoon at the house, but when I tried calling KCSO the person I spoke to made me feel as though I was inconveniencing them and I gave up trying to report. 

    • D March 25, 2019 (5:10 pm)

      If it was the same Chrysler 300 (and it does look exactly the same) that was seen casing Shorewood on Wednesday evening, then yes… it was loud.

      • Steven March 25, 2019 (6:22 pm)

        Interesting. Can’t say if it is the same car (I didn’t get license plate) but description and very loud muffler seem to match. I car I saw with the same description dropped off a woman Thursday morning in the alley of the house on SW 98th St/18th Ave SW. This property has a number of people living on the property in the home, trailer, and multiple cars-so much of the behavior is bizarre and unnerving I can’t help but be on the lookout. The woman stopped briefly on the property there, then proceeded to walk down the alley towards Roxbury (stopping to yell at a man in an SUV parked in the church lot who was luring the people coming in/out of the above property). She finally stopped next to the church to put in a tampon in public, then dumped the waste on our property and walked off. I reported this, but did not receive a follow up. The car returned Saturday afternoon, but when I called it in the representative at KCSO was so rude I had to hang up-I literally felt like I was interfering with their jobs or they couldn’t be bothered. I called back this afternoon to follow up on my report. I doubt I will receive a call back, but I do hope this wasn’t the same car I tried to report Saturday afternoon.  I wonder if it would have been easier to catch the person during daylight hours.

        • *** March 25, 2019 (11:08 pm)

          Steven, I also live just down the street from the house on 18th and SW 98th and just spoke with an officer last week about all of the activity.  My initial call to KCSO was because someone was walking up and down our street stealing mail. It gave me an opportunity to mention the house, and the officer was familiar with it and said she would alert local enforcement.  

  • EW March 25, 2019 (6:23 pm)

    I appreciate WSB for keeping all of us informed. As soon as the police went racing up California Ave I went immediately to the WSB twitter feed, with all of the help from everyone on this thread I ensured my family was safe with the suspect at large.  2 things I don’t understand, he stole a car 2 weeks ago and this is the first they have seen of him?  Also, why is there no information on the Seattle news in regards to a suspect at large etc?  They spent time talking about E-Cig tax though…Sad Really!  I guess I will continue to get my news and updates from WSB!

  • 1994 March 25, 2019 (9:45 pm)

    Anyone know, or guess, why the car caught fire? I hope the bad person gets picked up soon.At least it was not a Tesla.

    • heyalki March 29, 2019 (12:27 pm)

      why does it matter what kind of car it was?

Sorry, comment time is over.