With lights flashing, a group of police cars converged at the Napa Auto Parts store in the 11600 block of Slater Avenue Northeast in Kirkland at about 11 a.m. today and officers took a man into custody.
According to Bellevue Police Department officer Seth Tyler, the man, who was later discovered had an outstanding warrant for violation of his probation, had fled police in connection with an earlier shoplifting complaint from the Whole Foods Market at 116th Avenue Northeast. His vehicle had matched that of the description given in the complaint.
He was booked into the King County Jail for eluding police, theft and possession of a stolen vehicle.
After a short pursuit, the suspect’s vehicle was finally stopped just off of the Northeast 124th Street exit in Kirkland. The suspect then got out and fled, and police were sending a K9 unit to locate him, a Kirkland officer noticed a man matching the suspect’s description in the parking lot next to the Napa store.
Kirkland and Bellevue police cars were at the scene and one officer was carrying a rifle. Prior to swarming into the Napa parking lot, police cars were spotted on Northeast 116th Street and 124th Avenue Northeast.
Napa assistant manager Julie (last name withheld) said she saw the man — who was wearing a fluorescent green shirt — standing at the counter and asked if he needed anything.
“He said, ‘nope, I’m just waiting,'” she noted. “And (then) all I heard was ‘get your hands up and get on the ground.'” Julie said she thought it was a joke at first, but when the voices got louder, she knew it was real.
Witness Jon (last name withheld) said he when he pulled into the Napa parking lot, he saw the man sitting on the store’s front curb smoking a cigarette.
“I came in to buy auto parts,” Jon said. “Probably about a minute after that, he walked into the building. I was trying to get with my gentleman that I’m buying auto parts for to fix his vehicle, and the next thing I know I heard was ‘get on the ground’… guns were drawn.”
Kirkland Reporter reporter TJ Martinell contributed to this story.