WEST SEATTLE CRIME WATCH: Driver of stolen car arrested after damaging police cars, building

Published on SPD Blotter this afternoon, this report on how a car stolen on Capitol Hill wound up in the southeast West Seattle industrial zone on Saturday:

Police arrested the driver of a stolen vehicle Saturday afternoon in Southwest Seattle after he fled from officers, rammed patrol cars, and caused significant damage to a gas station convenience store.

At 3:39 p.m., a food delivery driver called 911 to report his vehicle had been stolen near 10th Avenue and East Pike Street. He had left his car running when he went into a restaurant to pick up an order, and when he came back out his Toyota sedan was gone. The victim told officers he could track the location of his car and provided updates on its location.

The suspect later became caught in traffic for a Mariners baseball game near Edgar Martinez Drive South and Occidental Avenue South. Police attempted to pull the vehicle over, but the driver sped away, entering lanes of oncoming traffic and endangering the many pedestrians and other motorists in the area.

Nearly an hour after the car was stolen, the victim reported it had stopped at a gas station in the 7800 block of Detroit Avenue SW [map]. The suspect had backed into a parking spot along a wall of the station’s convenience store. Arriving officers parked their patrol cars in front of the stolen car, boxing it in. When the officers stepped out of their cars and instructed the driver to exit the vehicle, he attempted to flee again, repeatedly driving the car forward and backward, alternately ramming the patrol cars and the building. Officers pulled the suspect out of the vehicle after a struggle and arrested him. Officers also interviewed and a female passenger in the vehicle and released her at the scene.

(SPD photo)

Police booked the 22-year-old driver into King County Jail for vehicle theft, eluding and property damage. Police also processed the suspect for DUI based on statements he made about recent narcotics use, and requested charges for violation of a protection order, as he was not supposed to be in contact with the female passenger. Lastly, officers notified the Department of Corrections they were booking the man, since he had a warrant for escaping community custody.

27 Replies to "WEST SEATTLE CRIME WATCH: Driver of stolen car arrested after damaging police cars, building"

  • Jeepney October 3, 2021 (3:34 pm)

    Has he been released on personal recognizance yet?

    • WSB October 4, 2021 (1:53 pm)

      No, still in jail.

  • Al King October 3, 2021 (4:48 pm)

    Would love to hear what the candidates for city attorney would do with this person.

    • WSB October 3, 2021 (5:00 pm)

      This will not go through the City Attorney’s Office. Warrant aside, it’s a felony level of damage.

  • Matt October 3, 2021 (7:06 pm)

    This may sound a little insensitive, and I know that it shouldn’t be this way, but were there any charges for the delivery driver that left their car running?

    • S.A. October 3, 2021 (8:19 pm)

      You’re right, it definitely sounds insensitive.

    • Tony October 3, 2021 (8:22 pm)

      Are you serious Matt?

      • Auntie October 3, 2021 (9:45 pm)

        It is illegal in Washington (and many other states) to leave a running vehicle unattended. Not to mention foolish.

    • StopCuttingDownTrees October 3, 2021 (9:05 pm)

      I thought the same thing. There should be charges, just like leaving a loaded gun on bus stop bench. 

    • My two cents … October 3, 2021 (9:29 pm)

      Matt – what was the violation committed by the delivery driver?

    • Rumbles October 3, 2021 (9:48 pm)

      I’m guessing the delivery driver has suffered enough in this case, Matt.  

    • anonyme October 4, 2021 (6:56 am)

      I was thinking the same thing.  It’s illegal, and the ruckus that followed is just one of the reasons why.  In these days of severe climate change, no one should be leaving an engine running for any reason while not moving.

    • ltfd October 4, 2021 (12:00 pm)

      Spoken like a true citizen of Seattle. Let’s blame the victim, rather than the felon.

  • Matt October 3, 2021 (8:56 pm)

    Yes, unfortunately I am.  There is a law against this for a reason and there is an argument to be made that this series of events was entirely avoidable had the driver secured their car properly.  

    • KinesthesiaAmnesia October 4, 2021 (7:27 am)

      For Matt, here’s RCW  46.61.600 

      1) No person driving or in charge of a motor vehicle shall permit it to stand unattended without first stopping the engine, locking the ignition, removing the key and effectively setting the brake thereon and, when standing upon any perceptible grade, turning the front wheels to the curb or side of the highway.

      Readers can look up the full law or code for more info & the consequences.

  • valvashon October 4, 2021 (6:58 am)


    RCW 46.61.600

    Unattended motor vehicle.

    No person driving or in charge of a motor vehicle shall permit it to
    stand unattended without first stopping the engine, locking the
    ignition, removing the key and effectively setting the brake thereon
    and, when standing upon any perceptible grade, turning the front wheels
    to the curb or side of the highway.(2)
    The most recent driver of a motor vehicle which the driver has left
    standing unattended, who learns that the vehicle has become set in
    motion and has struck another vehicle or property, or has caused injury
    to any person, shall comply with the requirements of:(a) RCW 46.52.010 if his or her vehicle strikes an unattended vehicle or property adjacent to a public highway; or(b) RCW 46.52.020 if his or her vehicle causes damage to an attended vehicle or other property or injury to any person.(3) Any person failing to comply with subsection (2)(b) of this section shall be subject to the sanctions set forth in RCW 46.52.020.

    I don’t think charges against the delivery driver would be out of the question in this case.

    • Tony October 4, 2021 (8:56 am)

      Well then let’s start ticketing all the “wrong way parking” violators. This also is illegal and dangerous.

  • Elton October 4, 2021 (9:59 am)

    I feel very bad for the female passenger. Surely she’s gone through a lot with this individual already as getting a protection order is no fun, only to then have to go through this – I can’t imagine she voluntarily joined him in this stolen car. Just a friendly reminder: if you’re experiencing domestic abuse, please get help: https://wscadv.org/get-help-now/

  • Bronson October 4, 2021 (10:07 am)

    Very Seattle-like to blame the victim here instead of the serious criminal offender. Bleeding hearts will do anything here to avoid casting the blame squarely where it lies. 

    • Frog October 4, 2021 (11:10 am)

      I have to agree, this is the most classic Seattle ever.  Let’s prosecute the guy who works for a living, and the thief who stole and destroyed his car, while also damaging other public and private property, just needs more hugs.  At the same time, if police actually did go around arresting people who leave their cars running, the abolition crowd would have fits.  The victim of a crime is literally the only person they want to single out for prosecution.

    • S.A. October 4, 2021 (12:07 pm)

      I’m as “bleeding heart” as they come and I place the blame squarely where it belongs: on the person who chose to steal the car. I may have a more systemic and humanistic view of the person who made that choice, but they’re the responsible party. The driver was foolish, but in no way deserves to be ticketed. I suspect it’s more the “law and order,” “if you aren’t doing anything wrong you have nothing to fear from the police” scolds who like to call 911 on their neighbors for growing their grass “too long” that are so into the minutiae of statutes they’d seriously advocate for the driver to be penalized in this situation.

  • cjboffoli October 4, 2021 (11:00 am)

    I don’t see victim blaming here. And no one is defending the lowlife who stole this car and rammed into police cruisers. Personally, I think it is reasonable to point out that it is careless and unlawful to leave your car running while unattended (while also wasting fuel and creating unnecessary pollution). I can recall seeing another story reported here in the WSB not that long ago in which someone left their car running – with their children in the car – and had the car stolen with the kids! There are just so many reasons why obeying the law on this one is a good idea.  Likewise, I always empathize with people who are the victims of smash and grab car prowls while I’m simultaneously astonished that people think it is OK to leave items of value (like purses and laptops) on their car seats.  Crime is bad enough without people making things easier for criminals. I realize that there is strong pushback in our local culture against expecting anyone to be responsible for anything. But simply pointing out where folks could be a bit more thoughtful isn’t blaming. 

  • Auntie October 4, 2021 (11:04 am)

    I think it is clear that the criminal offender is the bad guy here, but this whole thing could have been avoided if not for the carelessness of the victim. That’s not to say the bad guy wouldn’t have just moved along to the next potential victim or even car-jacked somebody. But we all need to be careful and not leave an opportunity for these bad actors.

  • Dlee October 4, 2021 (11:05 am)

    I’m sick of these criminal sprees. Im sick of the theft and malicious behavior. This is my community. I dont want to run from it. I’m sick of the arsons. The mental and drugs health issues that turn into poverty theft and pollution issues. This is our community. I hope youre sick of it too

  • CuriousQuestioner October 4, 2021 (12:00 pm)

    Are we enforcing laws that are the books now?

  • They October 4, 2021 (12:07 pm)

    Looks like accountability…has left the room 

  • bill October 4, 2021 (9:35 pm)

    The delivery driver did an unwise thing by leaving his car running. But look at the car, look at the wheel. It’s an old rundown Toyota. If the guy is trying to make ends meet in Seattle by working deliveries he probably hasn’t got any money to spare to keep his old car in good shape. It may not start reliably. If the battery is dodgy it may not recharge adequately on short drives between stops, and then eventually the car won’t start. That’s no good if you’re trying to make deliveries. So yes, leaving the car running was dumb, but it may be the driver’s only good choice. 

Sorry, comment time is over.