Two men are in custody today thanks to a little luck, technology, and good police work following a strange car jacking attempt and a robbery last night.
Just before 10:00 pm Tuesday, a man was driving his 2007 Audi A3 wagon when he decided to stop at 8th Avenue South and South King Street to purchase some food. His female companion was in the passenger seat and waited in the car. She was texting on her iPhone when she heard the driver’s door open. A strange man, who was holding a beer in one hand, climbed into the Audi’s empty driver’s seat and tried to start the car.
The woman began yelling at the suspect to get out, but he continued his attempt to start the car and get it into gear.
The woman began trying to push the suspect out of the car, but he persisted in his attempt to steal the car for 5-10 minutes. The woman later told police the suspect never put down his beer, which may have hampered his efforts in getting the car in gear.
The suspect was unable to get the car started and eventually gave up. He then climbed out of the Audi and walked back to a blue Kia Sportage on S. King Street.
The woman jotted down the suspect’s license plate, climbed into the Audi’s driver seat and began following the suspect’s Kia.
The suspect blew through several red lights and stop signs, and drove the wrong way down a one-way street, and eventually was able to lose the woman in the Audi.
However, she pulled over and flagged down two King County Transit deputies, and provided them with information on the Kia.
Meanwhile, back at 8th and King St., the Audi’s owner came out of the restaurant, found his car was gone and also called 911. SPD officers transported the man to the female victim and the Audi at 6th Avenue South and South Holgate.
While speaking with officers, the woman realized that her iPhone was missing, and that she hadn’t seen it since the suspect had climbed in the car with her.
She was able to activate the phone’s “Find My iPhone” feature, which led officers to 12th Avenue S and S Main Street.
Officers found the suspect’s blue Kia at 12th and Main and spotted him pulling into a parking lot. The man climbed out of the car and began walking away, but police quickly caught up to him and arrested him.
When officers looked inside the Kia, they found a second suspect sitting in the passenger seat and ordered him out of the vehicle. When the second suspect stepped out of the Kia, the victim’s still-beeping iPhone fell out of the man’s lap onto the ground.
The victim was able to positively identify the first suspect as the one she fought with inside the Audi.
Both suspects, ages 50 and 35, were arrested and booked into the King County Jail for Investigation of Robbery.