5 alleged car thieves flee police in Lakewood; boy drowns, 2 others arrested

Dec 5, 2023, 4:45 AM

lakewood car thieves drown...

Exterior of Lakewood police car (Photo courtesy of KIRO 7)

(Photo courtesy of KIRO 7)

Police officers attempted to stop a stolen car in Lakewood Saturday night when five suspects escaped out of the car and ran from the scene. Two were arrested, two escaped and the fifth suspect drowned in a swamp while attempting to get away, according to the Lakewood Police Department.

Officers were alerted to a stolen Kia Sportage traveling on Steilacoom Blvd SW. The officers originally followed the vehicle without lights or sirens while waiting for additional officers to arrive. Once everyone was in position, an officer activated their lights and siren to stop the stolen car, the department said in a statement sent to KIRO Newsradio and other area outlets. The stolen vehicle fled with five passengers inside, continuing north on Woodlawn Avenue SW.

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According to the department’s press release, the driver stopped at the end of the road and numerous people jumped out of the car, fleeing on foot east toward a swampy marsh area.

“Officers recovered the abandoned, stolen vehicle,” Lakewood’s Police Department wrote in the prepared statement. “Next to it, they found a modified handgun that was dropped on the ground. Another gun was seen inside the car. Officers found two of the people (juveniles) who tried to run away shortly after they fled the vehicle. They were very wet, implying they went into the swamp.”

Members of the department continued to search for the other suspects when they saw one approximately 40 feet out in the swamp. They called for the juvenile to come out of the water, but he didn’t come out. Officers soon went out into the water and found him unresponsive. The boy was transported to Mary Bridge Children’s Hospital, where he later died.

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“Officers remained in the area Saturday night and into Sunday continuing to search for the additional fourth and fifth suspects,” the department’s prepared statement continued. “No other people were found. During these follow-up searches an additional firearm was found in the swamp area where the male had been.”

Major Crime Detectives are conducting a follow-up investigation.

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