Victim remotely disables car, inconveniencing alleged thieves

TACOMA, Wash. -- It seems as though our cars are finally smarter than our car thieves after a Pierce County woman was able to remotely disable her stolen Kia, forcing the suspected thieves to push it into a nearby parking lot where they were easily located using the stolen car's GPS.

According to charges filed in Pierce County Superior Court, the victim woke up Aug. 28 to find her keys, purse, Kia and brother's motorcycle all missing.

Working with Kia Motors, the victim was able to remotely disable her car and then track it to a Safeway parking lot in Graham where Pierce County Sheriff's Office deputies reportedly found 22-year-old Tyler Barrett and 20-year-old Stephen Morris sitting in it.

According to the charging documents, Morris told deputies he borrowed the car from a friend and then refused to answer any further questions without an attorney present.

However, once Morris saw Barrett talking to deputies he changed his mind, saying it wasn't right that Barrett was "ratting" on him and that he now wanted to tell his side of the story "off the record," according to the charging documents.

Morris reportedly told deputies he, Barrett and 29-year-old Richard Miller went to the victim's house to steal a car, at which point he took the Kia and Barrett took the motorcycle. He said Miller later transferred to the motorcycle, and Barrett and Morris drove off in the Kia.

According to the charging documents, Morris told deputies they were getting gas when the car suddenly died for some reason, and they had to push it into the Safeway parking lot.

In addition to the stolen car, a stack of debit, credit and EBT cards belonging to the victim and her husband were found on Morris, according to the charging documents.

Both Morris and Barrett were arrested and charged with residential burglary and theft of a motor vehicle. Morris was also charged with identity theft.

Miller was found and arrested following a report of a suspicious person originally thought to be unrelated. He was charged with residential burglar and theft of a motor vehicle.