Toppenish Police looking for man, woman after multi-city crime spree

Wanted Toppenish man
Credit: David Rose, Q13

Toppenish Police are asking for your help to locate a one-handed man named Rene Garza and identify his gal pal. The two are accused of going on a crime spree this month with another guy named Peter Garcia.

Garcia has already been caught after a wild high-speed chase. On the day before Garcia’s arrest, watch the video below as the three suspects break into a propane tank box outside ‘Blue Sky Market’ on Chehalis Ave. last week.

Toppenish Police Capt. Dave Johnson describes the video:

“They pull up on the east side of the store with a stolen Honda Element and Peter Garcia gets out first and then Rene Garza gets out and Rene does not have his mask on yet, but you can see that he’s only got one hand, he’s only got a left hand, lost his right hand in a fireworks accident some years ago, so you get a clear look at his face and then he does put a ski mask on and then puts his stump in his right pocket and waits for a while. Peter Garcia gets out with a crowbar, walks up to the north side of the building, to where the propane canister vending machine is. He attempts to pry open the lock with a crowbar. He’s unsuccessful, so he walks back to the Honda Element and there he picks up a set of bolt cutters and he walks back there and he cuts the lock and then returns back to the Honda and then a few minutes later, they pull into the parking area just in front of the vending machine and Peter Garcia gets out first and then Rene Garza gets out and they start to attempt to load up the propane bottles, then are joined by a female suspect who we have not identified yet and between the three of them, they kind of have an assembly line and they’re loading up the propane bottles. They put the 12 canisters in the Honda Element and then they drive off,” described Capt. Johnson.

Toppenish Police believe Garza and Garcia stole the Honda Element the day before during a burglary. And, the day after the propane tank thefts, Garcia was still driving the vehicle during a burglary at a tractor equipment shop in Sunnyside that led to a 40-minute high-speed chase.

“As they’re chasing down the freeway the suspect, who’s later identified as Peter Garcia, is throwing out a couple chainsaws at the patrol cars behind them going down the freeway and he ends up crashing and, of course, he was taken immediately into custody and he’s wearing the same clothing that he was wearing on Tuesday morning and Wednesday morning,” said Capt. Johnson.

Garza got away and Toppenish Police are hoping you can help find him. He’s a four-time convicted felon.

He’s wanted in Toppenish for 2nd Degree Theft and in Yakima County for skipping court on a meth bust he was arrested for last year. He’s 37-years-old and hangs out around the Toppenish and Wapato area.

If you know where he’s hiding, or know who that unidentified woman is, use the P3 Tips App on your smartphone to submit the information to Yakima County Crime Stoppers, or call the hotline at 1-800-222-TIPS(8477).

It’s anonymous — you never give your name — and you’ll get a cash reward of up to $1,000 if your tip helps lead to his arrest.

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