State Patrol uses aircraft in Kent to recover stolen vehicle

Vehicle hit speeds of 98 mph along Highway 167 before arrests made in Kent

Washington State Patrol troopers recovered four stolen vehicles in King County on May 10, including two in Kent, one with the assistance of the agency’s aircraft unit.

At about 11:20 p.m., a State Patrol Cessna, based out of the Olympia Airport, advised troopers on the ground that they observed a vehicle northbound on State Route 167 near 15th Street Northwest traveling at 93 mph with a top speed of 98 mph, according to a May 11 State Patrol press release. The speed limit along the highway is 60 mph.

Troopers stood by at State Route 516 in Kent when the vehicle exited, but it fled when a traffic stop was initiated. The aircraft followed the vehicle for about 10 minutes until it parked in a cul-de-sac in Kent. The two occupants fled on foot, but troopers caught them and took the female driver and male passenger into custody, according to the State Patrol.

The female was driving a 2002 Chevy Silverado, which had been reported stolen.

“This is another example of the great work troopers are doing every day and the invaluable asset of the WSP Aviation Section to hold suspects accountable in the safest way possible,” according to the State Patrol.

Earlier on May 10, at about 6 a.m., the State Patrol recovered a 2016 Kia Soul in Kent after the trooper’s LoJack system alerted that there was a stolen vehicle nearby.

Vehicle owners can buy a LoJack unit that is hidden in the vehicle by a certified technician and registered in the LoJack database, according to the LoJack website. When an owner files a stolen vehicle report with law enforcement, the theft is recorded in a national database and the device sends a signal that police can track.

The trooper determined the vehicle was abandoned. It was taken to a tow yard at the request of the owner on the stolen car report.

Troopers recovered a third vehicle, a Nissan NV200 just after 5 a.m. abandoned in Auburn. That vehicle was taken to a tow yard for safekeeping pending a response from the owner.

The State Patrol recovered a fourth stolen vehicle, a 2011 Hyundai Elantra. The registered owner found their vehicle abandoned on westbound State Route 520 just east of Interstate 5. The owner called a tow truck to take the vehicle.

On April 28, the State Patrol used its Cessna aircraft to help troopers on the ground crack down on illegal street racing and vehicles fleeing from traffic stops in South King County, including Kent, Auburn and the Southcenter area. Troopers made several arrests.

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