Police arrest man for allegedly stealing SPD officer’s vehicle

Lexi Harris

A Seattle man was arrested for allegedly stealing an off-duty SPD officer’s personal vehicle the night she was struck and killed by another motorist after responding to a collision on I-5.

Roger Lee Owens Jr., a 49-year-old Seattle man as the suspect who stole officer Harris’ vehicle, WSP Captain Ron Mead announced in the press conference Thursday night at the WSP District Headquarters. Mead said Owens was arrested at a Bellevue hotel after he abandoned her vehicle in Georgetown earlier this week. He was taken in custody Thursday for investigation of felony hit-and-run, theft of a motor vehicle, possession of stolen property, possession of a stolen firearm and identity theft.

Mead announced that six additional people were also arrested in connection to the collision, but unrelated to the theft of Harris’ vehicle.

The 38-year-old Seattle Police Department patrol officer was on her way home from shift early Sunday morning when she stopped to help with a multi-car crash on Interstate 5. She was struck and killed by another motorist.  WSP was not able to positively identify Harris until several hours later when troopers found her wallet within the area of the collision.

According to WSP, around 11: 45 p.m. Sunday a multi-car crash was reported blocking the HOV lanes in the SB lanes of I-5 near the Spokane St. on-ramp in Seattle. About an hour and a half later, a 3-car collision was reported and a pedestrian was struck and killed. The pedestrian, later discovered to be Officer Harris, was killed in the second crash, which happened in a backup from the first crash.

The officer’s personal vehicle was stolen from the scene. Detectives said the officer’s vehicle was found abandoned on Sunday morning in Georgetown and is being held for evidence. The person who allegedly hit the officer remained at the scene.

Detectives are continuing their investigation of the collision. WSP is asking anyone who has additional information about the accident and the night Harris was killed to contact them at (425) 401-7742.