Man has car, gun stolen while buying snacks at store with engine running

EVERETT, WA – The weather outside is frightful, but for car thieves, an unattended car running outside of a gas station or convenience store is delightful, even if it happens to be a Toyota Echo.

According to police, just after 6:30 a.m. on December 29th, officers were dispatched to the report of a vehicle theft that just occurred at a gas station in the 2600 block of Broadway Ave. The victim told arriving officers he parked his Toyota Echo and went inside to buy snacks. The vehicle was left running, with keys in the ignition, and doors unlocked.

When the victim exited the store – the Echo was gone. The victim stated his unloaded rifle was in the backseat of the vehicle. Ironically, the victim also left his iPad in the Echo and he helped officers track its location.

The Echo travelled northbound on I-5 and exited in Marysville where Marysville Police attempted to stop it. The vehicle fled at a high rate of speed but, after a pursuit that included Marysville Police, Washington State Patrol, and the Snohomish County Sheriff’s Office, the Echo was stopped when spike strips were successfully deployed. The driver was captured after a short foot chase.
In the vehicle, officers clearly saw the rifle in the backseat and noted the 31 year-old driver possessed the type of keys often used in vehicle thefts. Video surveillance from the business confirmed the driver stole the car and police records indicated he was a convicted felon with an outstanding felony warrant.

The driver was arrested and booked into jail on probable cause for theft of a motor vehicle, theft of a firearm, unlawful possession of a firearm, attempting to elude, possessing vehicle theft tools and his outstanding warrant. Fortunately, no injuries were reported during the theft, pursuit, or foot chase.

“Everett Police recognizes it is winter and cold but reminds the community that running vehicles are easy targets,” the Everett Police Department said.