Police recover stolen mail after chase

December 22, 2009

By J.B. Wogan

About a day after a high-speed police chase led to the recovery of a carload of missing mail, Sammamish Police Sgt. Robert Baxter had already fielded about 50 phone calls from people hoping theirs had been found. Most got bad news.“If we haven’t contacted you, we don’t have your mail,” he said.

Sammamish police were part of a high-speed chase Dec. 15 that began in Sammamish, wove through Issaquah and ended off the High Point exit of Interstate 90 in Preston. The arrest of two Snoqualmie Valley-area women and the ensuing investigation turned up a “large amount” of what police say is stolen mail from Sammamish, Issaquah, Redmond and Snoqualmie in the car.

Baxter explained that police are taking the initiative in communicating with residents whose mail they have.

“We’re hoping that they can tell us if there might be other things that they might be missing,” he added.

Police say they also found evidence linking the suspects to vehicle break-ins in Bellevue and auto thefts in North Bend and Sammamish.

The Dec. 15 chase began at about 5 a.m., when a patrolling officer saw a gray Chrysler New Yorker driving near the intersection of Issaquah-Beaver Lake Road Southeast and Duthie Hill Road and ran a database check on the license plate. King County dispatchers said the license plate expired in 2008, yet the plate said 2010.

Thinking the discrepancy might imply stolen license plate tabs, the officer followed the car to Issaquah near the Front Street exit and turned on his emergency lights to stop the car. The driver then turned onto I-90 heading eastbound, getting off at the High Point exit and crashing the car in an embankment.

The Sammamish officer managed to apprehend the driver on his own, but when the passenger took off on foot, officers from the Washington State Patrol and the King County Sheriff’s Office came in to help. A police tracking dog found her, but police say she resisted arrest. The dog then bit her.

Afterward, police booked the passenger into the Issaquah Jail for resisting arrest and outstanding warrants. She was taken to Harborview Medical Center for treatment of the dog bite.

The driver, arrested for attempting to elude a police vehicle and on outstanding felony warrants, was booked into the King County Jail.

Baxter said resisting arrest was considered a misdemeanor, which could result in a maximum sentence of 90 days in county jail or a $1,000 fine. The felony warrant implies more significant consequences. State law allows for felonies to result in lifelong incarceration or a $50,000 fine.

J.B. Wogan: 392-6434, ext. 247, or jbwogan@isspress.com. Comment at www.issaquahpress.com.

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