Wrong Lake Stevens man arrested in car theft

EVERETT — Subarus seem to be the suspect’s favorite.

He might have thought he was off the hook. Police had arrested someone else at first.

Last week, a 21-year-old man from Lake Stevens was accused of stealing a Subaru, leading police on a chase and ramming into a detective’s car. The detective suffered a sprained neck, according to court documents.

The stolen Subaru later was found burned.

The Lake Stevens man denied any connection to the crimes, and he passed a polygraph.

When detectives reviewed surveillance footage from local businesses near where the car was ditched, they determined they had arrested the wrong man. The 21-year-old suspect and the man in the video looked the same, for the most part.

But they had distinctly different chins.

The 21-year-old was asked to watch the video footage. The tape showed a man pouring gasoline inside the car and setting it ablaze.

He said he knew the man on the tape and provided a name. Though no longer a suspect in the Everett case, he remains in jail on unrelated offenses.

The new suspect, 25, also of Lake Stevens, was arrested Wednesday for investigation of car theft, second-degree arson and assault.

The 25-year-old told police he has been involved in the thefts of as many as nine Subarus recently, according to a probable cause affidavit.

The trouble began when a stolen Subaru was spotted being driven around north Everett on Dec. 13.

An Everett police officer started following the car, which already had been reported stolen. As the officer’s car and the Subaru approached the 41st Street overpass, police converged on the area. The Subaru took off. Before the I-5 onramp, it reportedly slammed into a detective’s car in the right lane.

The man, who had his girlfriend as a passenger, drove south to a restaurant on 19th Avenue SE. There, they left the stolen Subaru in the parking lot and went to a nearby grocery store down the road, where they reportedly stole another Subaru, detectives said.

Three hours later, they stopped by a 7-11 and bought about $5 worth of gasoline. Surveillance footage showed a man filling up a red can.

Moments later, the first Subaru, the one used in the pursuit, was set on fire.

Reporter Rikki King contributed to this story.

Caitlin Tompkins: 425-339-3192; ctompkins@heraldnet.com.

Talk to us

More in Local News

Vehicles exiting I-5 southbound begin to turn left into the eastbound lanes of 164th Street Southwest on Wednesday, Aug. 17, 2022, in Lynnwood, Washington. (Ryan Berry / The Herald)
Traffic backups on 164th Street near I-5 could see relief soon

The county and state are implementing a new traffic signal system that synchronizes the corridor and adjusts to demand.

Rick Winter (left) and Gary Yang, the founders of the former UniEnergy Technologies, stand with one their latest batteries, the Reflex, August 10, 2022. (Dan DeLong/InvestigateWest)
‘Chaotic mess’: Clean energy promises imploded at Mukilteo battery maker

UniEnergy Technologies absorbed millions in public funds, then suddenly went dark. The company is accused of providing tech to China.

Everett
Federal funds could pay for Everett bathrooms, gun buyback, more

City officials propose $7.95 million of American Rescue Plan Act money on a shelter, mental health support and more.

Community Transit chief financial officer Eunjoo Greenhouse
Community Transit hires King County staffer as CFO

Eunjoo Greenhouse is set to join the agency Oct. 24 after years in King County government.

Fred Safstrom, CEO of Housing Hope, is retiring. Photographed in Everett, Washington on October 5, 2022.  (Kevin Clark / The Herald)
Housing Hope CEO reflects on 25-year career helping unsheltered people

“People used to believe homelessness was caused by bad choices.” Minds and policies are changing, Fred Safstrom said.

The proposed Everett City Council districts map would make small shifts to all five districts based on recent Census data. (City of Everett)
Everett City Council district commission sticks with map

The map is set for council despite pleas for Broadway to split the two northern districts and criticism over the process.

Tanya King, left, looks to where Hailey Newton, right, ask to hang her project Thursday afternoon at Beverly Elementary in Lynnwood, Washington on September 14, 2022. (Kevin Clark / The Herald)
2 ‘extraordinary educators’ honored nationally for success in classroom

Tanya King in Edmonds practices “controlled chaos.” Zachary Pfrimmer in Stanwood is orderly. Data shows both have been wildly successful.

Cassie Franklin, right, mayor of Everett, introduces a coalition to address public safety concerns Tuesday afternoon at Henry M. Jackson Park in Everett, Washington on October 4, 2022.  (Kevin Clark / The Herald)
Mayors: Enough is enough, we want something done for public safety

A coalition of city leaders from Snohomish County is pushing back on policing reforms passed in the wake of George Floyd’s murder.

Logo for news use featuring Snohomish County, Washington. 220118
Snohomish County deputy on leave, accused of shoplifting at Home Depot

The sheriff’s deputy repeatedly stole merchandise at an Everett store where he worked as security, according to a search warrant.

Most Read