A 39-year-old Burien man faces charges for first-degree robbery and attempting to elude police after he reportedly stole a vehicle and laptop at gunpoint in Kent and led officers on a 35-mile, 24-minute chase.
Robert Anthony Lomas is scheduled to be arraigned Jan. 7 at the Maleng Regional Justice Center in Kent. Lomas remained Tuesday in the King County Correctional Facility in Seattle with bail set at $150,000.
A man and a woman had agreed online to meet with Lomas to sell a laptop through OfferUp at about 10 p.m. Dec. 22 in the Fred Meyer parking lot, 25250 Pacific Highway S., on the West Hill, according to charging papers filed Dec. 28 in King County Superior Court.
Lomas showed up with a woman and the two entered the car of the couple selling the laptop. When Lomas, who sat in a rear passenger seat, complained about a broken laptop screen, the woman selling the computer got out of her driver’s seat to look at the laptop. Lomas then moved into the driver’s seat of the still running car. Lomas then drove then vehicle out of the parking lot.
Lomas ordered the man and woman selling the laptop to get out of the vehicle just east of South 252nd Street and Pacific Highway South. The woman got out but the man remained in the car.
The woman flagged down a Kent Police officer at about 10:10 p.m. along South 252nd Street near Pacific Highway South. She told the officer her car had been stolen and her friend possibly shot as she heard a gunshot shortly after Lomas sped away.
Another Kent officer responded to a report of a gunshot and saw a 2005 Acura TSX that matched the woman’s vehicle near South 260th Street and Pacific Highway South. The officer began to follow the stolen vehicle and other officers responded to assist.
As officers responded, the initial officer who spoke to the woman was approached by the woman’s friend. He told the officer Lomas drove a few blocks from the Fred Meyer, stopped and ordered him to get out of the car while pointing a black handgun at him. He fired a shot into the air out of the driver’s side window and then pointed the gun in the man’s face. The man fled on foot before contacting the officer.
Meanwhile, an officer activated his emergency lights and tried to pull over Lomas in the 220 block of South 272nd Street. Lomas failed to yield, and a pursuit began.
The chase went south on Interstate 5 and hit speeds between 90 and 110 mph, according to the officer’s report. The pursuit continued east on Highway 18 at speeds between 80 and 115 mph in light traffic.
At the Highway 18 intersection with I-90, Washington State Patrol troopers set up spike strips on both sides of the roadway. The car driven by Lomas and the officer’s SUV each hit the spikes. Lomas was able to keep driving while the officer’s vehicle was disabled when both passenger side tires were deflated.
About five Kent Police officers took over the pursuit. A patrol sergeant said he allowed the pursuit to continue because there were multiple suspects inside the Acura and they were known to be armed with a firearm, violent and willing to shoot.
The Acura continued east of Snoqualmie Parkway and entered the city of Snoqualmie. At the intersection of Snoqualmie Parkway and Orchard Avenue Southeast, Lomas lost control of the Acura, collided with a light pole, slid into a ditch and came to a stop.
Officers, with guns drawn, ordered the occupants out of the vehicle. A man exited the rear seat and a woman left the right front seat. Both surrendered. The charging papers didn’t indicate anything about the second man in the car.
Lomas exited the driver’s seat and officers placed him in handcuffs.
“You guys came that far,” Lomas said when the officer said he was from Kent. “Why didn’t you give up, man?”
Lomas told police he didn’t want to stop because he had a state Department of Corrections warrant for his arrest. Lomas denied he had a gun or that he had met up with a couple to buy a laptop in Kent.
When asked why he thought officers had tried to stop him, he said, “Probably because I was speeding right there on 272nd.”
The criminal history of Lomas includes convictions for third-degree assault (2016) and second-degree robbery (2012). He has convictions in California for burglary (2000), vehicle theft (2001), possession of cocaine (2000) and assault (2007).
Lomas was on community custody warrant status at the time of his arrest by Kent Police and prohibited from possessing firearms because of prior felony convictions.