Local News

High Speed Pursuit Lands Okanogan Man in Jail

Okanogan County Sheriff Tony Hawley

May 21, 2020

On Monday, May 18, 2020 at about 5:22pm Okanogan County Sheriff’s deputies were involved in a vehicle pursuit of a stolen vehicle in Omak, WA. The vehicle was identified as a stolen vehicle by the vehicle mounted License Plate Reader (LPR) system we have mounted on patrol vehicles of our fleet.  Deputy Jodie Barcus observed the vehicle traveling northbound on Okoma Drive and recognized it as a vehicle which she knew was stolen.  She had received a previous notice the vehicle, a blue 1993 Toyota Camry, had been reported as stolen from Omak on 05/17/2020.  Upon learning it was a stolen vehicle she was able to locate images of it in the LPR system and forward them to Omak PD and other Law Enforcement in the area.  When she passed the vehicle her alerted that the vehicle was a stolen vehicle and she confirmed it was the correct vehicle with the picture of the vehicle and license plate.

As Deputy Barcus turned to get behind the vehicle and prior to her activating any emergency lights, she observed the vehicle enter the turn lane and pass multiple vehicles traveling northbound. After observing the dangerous driving, she activated her emergency lights and siren to pursue the vehicle and alert others of the fleeing vehicle. The vehicle was traveling 57mph in a 25mph zone when she was able to catch up to it.  The vehicle continued driving in excess of 60mph in 25mph zones while also failing to stop for stop signs and traffic lights.

The vehicle pursuit lasted 17 minutes covering about 10 miles over city streets and county roads and involved Sheriff’s deputies, Omak Police, Colville Tribal Police and Washington State Patrol. The vehicle exceeded speeds of 90mph on Rodeo Trail Road.  The pursuit was ended after the vehicle tires were deflated with spike strips at about 5:39pm near the Okanogan Sports Complex. The driver, Jesse Garcia 30 yom of Okanogan was arrested and booked into Okanogan County Jail.  He was booked for Possession of a Stolen Vehicle, Attempt to Elude, Hit and Run Property damage, Driving while Suspended 1st degree. A search warrant for the vehicle will be applied for as K9 did alert on the vehicle indicating it contains illegal narcotics. Further charges may come from the continued investigation.

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