Police: armed hitchhikers flee in stolen car

Police: armed hitchhikers flee in stolen car

Yakima County Sheriff’s deputies say a man and woman tried to elude authorities in a stolen vehicle near Wapato. They were booked at the Yakima County jail on Tuesday night.

A 27-year-old Toppenish man and 32-year-old Wapato woman were spotted in the stolen car just before 6 p.m. near the 2600 block of Donald Wapato Road. The victim’s car was allegedly taken at gunpoint, deputies said.

Wapato police attempted to pull the suspects over, but they fled, leading multiple officers on a high-speed chase that reached speeds topping 100 miles per hour. The male suspect was driving.

He crashed into another vehicle at Highway 97 and Lateral A Road near Parker. Moments later a Washington state trooper popped the suspect vehicle’s tires with stop sticks. The suspects continued to flee despite the deflated tires, according to a news release.

They were finally stopped at the east end of Valley Mall Boulevard near Interstate 82 after a deputy made vehicle-to-vehicle contact. The driver got out and tried to run away on foot before getting caught. A pistol was recovered at the scene, deputies said.

The man was charged with first-degree robbery, vehicular assault, eluding, resisting arrest and unlawful possession of a firearm. The woman was charged with first-degree robbery.

The victim, a 28-year-old Wapato man, said he picked up the suspects because they were hitchhiking. He did not know them.

No names have been released yet.