11/27/2014

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Crime

Police: Incredibly persistent car thief foiled by equally persistent victim

SEATTLE -- A man who showed equal dedication to both stealing a car and drinking a beer Tuesday night in the International District was apprehended thanks to a woman who showed equal dedication to not letting him get away with it, according to the Seattle Police Department.

A man and what police are only calling his "female companion" parked their Audi to get food at a restaurant at Eighth Avenue South and South King Street around 10 p.m. The man went inside while the female victim waited in the car and texted on her phone.

Suddenly, a man holding a beer opened the driver's side door, got in and tried to start the car, according to police. The woman yelled at the man and tried to push him out of the car, but he reportedly ignored her and continued to try to get the Audi in gear.

According to police, the suspect kept trying to get the car in gear for five to 10 minutes, all the while maintaining his grip on the beer, which was possibly hindering his progress with the Audi.

Eventually, the suspect gave up, got out of the car and drove off in a blue Kia that had been parked nearby.

The woman slid over to the Audi's driver's seat and gave chase. According to police, the suspect lost her by driving through red lights and heading the wrong way down one-way streets.

But -- after being reunited with the Audi's owner, who finally emerged from the restaurant to find his car gone -- the woman noticed her iPhone was missing and used its tracking app to locate it at 12th Avenue South and South Main Street.

Officers arrived at that location to find the Kia pulling into a parking space. The woman identified the driver of the Kia as the man who tried to steal the Audi, and a man in the Kia's passenger seat had her iPhone on him, according to police.

Both men were arrested and booked into King County Jail for investigation of robbery.

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