Kent man, woman charged in carjackings, stolen vehicles case

Tracking by King County Sheriff’s Office helicopter lasted nearly 50 minutes Feb. 13 across Kent

A screenshot of the King County Sheriff’s Office Guardian One helicopter view of the arrest of a Kent man after carjacking incidents Feb. 13 in Kent. COURTESY IMAGE, King County Sheriff’s Office

A screenshot of the King County Sheriff’s Office Guardian One helicopter view of the arrest of a Kent man after carjacking incidents Feb. 13 in Kent. COURTESY IMAGE, King County Sheriff’s Office

A 26-year-old Kent man and a 24-year-old Kent woman face multiple charges after a nearly 50-minute carjacking spree Feb. 13 across the city tracked by the King County Sheriff’s Office Guardian One helicopter.

Kent Police officers and King County Sheriff’s Office deputies pursued two vehicles involved in the incident and eventually took the man and woman into custody.

King County prosecutors charged Ernesto Rojas-Renteria with two counts of first-degree robbery, attempt to elude a pursuing police vehicle and possession of a stolen vehicle, according to court documents.

Brandy Marie Gomez faces charges of possession of a stolen vehicle and attempt to elude a pursuing police vehicle.

The charges were filed Feb. 15. They each are scheduled to be arraigned at 9 a.m. Feb. 26 in the GA Courtroom at the Maleng Regional Justice Center in Kent.

As of Feb. 16, Rojas-Renteria remained in custody at the King County jail in Kent with bail set at $290,000. Gomez remained in custody at the county jail in Kent with bail set at $15,000.

“The defendant (Rojas-Renteria) engaged in repeated acts of reckless violence against multiple victims,” wrote Senior Deputy Prosecuting Attorney Jennifer Phillips in charging documents. “The defendant took extreme measures to evade police, ran into several cars, stole two cars and victimized several members of our community to avoid apprehension.”

Rojas-Renteria already had a warrant for his arrest for failing to appear on earlier charges for burglary and car theft offenses, according to court documents.

Phillips wrote that Gomez engaged in dangerous behavior to elude apprehension and even after crashing the stolen vehicle she was driving, she still took measures to avoid arrest.

The incident

At about 12:27 p.m. on Feb. 13, Kent Police were notified by the Sheriff’s Office helicopter about a stolen white Cadillac Escalade, according to charging papers. The vehicle was parked at an apartment complex in the 20900 block of 110th Avenue SE. The vehicle had been reported stolen out of Pierce County on Feb. 12.

Guardian One reported to Kent Police that the Escalade and stopped at the Shell Station at 720 Central Ave. N.

A Kent officer arrived and reportedly recognized Rojas-Renteria from prior vehicle theft incidents. He also is a suspect in a vehicular homicide in Kent, according to court documents.

Rojas-Renteria saw the officer and sprinted toward the driver’s seat of the Escalade. The officer also saw a female in the vehicle. The Escalade left the gas station at a high rate of speed.

Due to current state pursuit policies, Kent Police noted officers were not allowed to chase the vehicle. Guardian One, however, continued to track the vehicle northbound on Central Avenue, northbound on Highway 167, then exiting Highway 167 and heading eastbound on SE 212th Street.

Guardian One reported the Escalade was driving at a high rate of speed and into oncoming lanes of traffic. It struck a white van at the intersection of SE 212th Street and 108th Avenue SE, then continued eastbound before turning north onto 124th Avenue SE.

At the intersection of 124th Avenue SE and SE 192nd Street, Guardian One reported the driver of the Escalade had exited the vehicle and was fighting with another motorist, according to court documents. He reportedly carjacked a red Ford Explorer, later identified as a Ford Expedition.

The woman passenger in the Escalade then moved to the driver’s seat and drove off.

The two people in the Expedition told officers that the Escalade had sideswiped them and then stopped. The Escalade driver approached their vehicle and reportedly pulled the driver out of the seat. The passenger in the Expedition managed to jump out while the vehicle was in motion.

An officer drove up to the Escalade and then saw it speed away. Due to the robbery (carjacking), officers were able to legally pursue the vehicle.

Meanwhile, other officers located the maroon Expedition going at a high rate of speed along SE 192nd Street. At the intersection of SE 192nd Street and 140th Avenue SE, the Expedition struck another vehicle and came to a stop. The male driver exited the Expedition and physically pulled a female driver out of a blue Subaru Forrester that had stopped. The man entered the Subaru and fled south on 140th Avenue SE.

Officers pursued the Subaru south on 132nd Avenue SE and saw the vehicle run a red light at SE 208th Street, reaching speeds estimated at 100 mph as it passed in the center turn lane to get by slower motorists.

The Subaru continued at high speeds eastbound on SE 240th Street and then turned south on 148th Avenue SE. At SE 256th Street, the driver turned west and into a residential neighborhood on 146th Avenue SE.

Guardian One continued to track the Subaru which headed eastbound on SE Petrovitsky Road. A Sheriff’s Office deputy managed to put down stop sticks, which the Subaru ran over. The vehicle went out of control and crashed near SE 232nd Avenue.

Deputies surrounded the vehicle and detained the driver. Kent Police then took the man into custody, who was identified as Rojas-Renteria.

Meanwhile, another Kent officer pursued the Escalade with the female driver eastbound on SE 192nd Street. Police observed the Escalade rolled over into a residential yard at 20103 148th Ave. SE after colliding with another vehicle.

A resident told police a woman had just run through his yard. Guardian One had completed tracking the Subaru and joined in the search for the woman. The helicopter spotted a woman in a wooded area near a small creek. Officers took the woman into custody and identified her as Gomez.

Video of pursuit

View the King County Sheriff’s Office Guardian One helicopter pursuit video on YouTube at https://youtu.be/w0iTfph2EfU?si=h-9g5EW4kse4rnx3.


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