Three people were arrested after a police chase, which included a near head-on crash, led officers to the Airway Heights Wal-Mart.
The incident began about 11:45 a.m. Thursday when a resident in the 500 block of North Martin in Medical Lake said his 2002 Ford Ranger had been stolen. A wallet with credit cards was stolen from a car in the 900 block of North Minnie, about a block away, about that same time, the Spokane County Sheriff’s Office said today.
Airway Heights police found the stolen Ranger in the Northern Quest Casino parking lot about 12:15 p.m. and saw a man try to drive it away.
Two deputies tried to block the Ranger, “but the driver accelerated directly at them,” according to a news release. The deputies braked, and the Ranger sped away southbound on Hayford Road.
Three people jumped from the truck, which crashed into a snow berm near Hayford and Highway 2. The driver, Phillip J. Young, 22, of Mead, was arrested at gunpoint after deputies saw him digging into his pocket as he ran. They recovered a black pellet gun from his pocket.
Arrested at the nearby Wal-Mart were Stephanie Louise Kupien, 30, of Newman Lake, and Charles W. Kerney, 42, of Spokane. Police found receipts for purchases made with the stolen credit cards and connected them to Young and Kupien, according to a news release.
No one was injured during the pursuit and arrests.
“Young told deputies that he had avoided capture by police in numerous pursuits by driving a high speeds through densely populated neighborhoods,” according to a news release. “The police call off the pursuit all the time,” he said.
Young was sentenced in October to 90 days in jail with credit given for 55 days served, after pleading guilty to three counts of second-degree possession of stolen property.
Now he’s in jail on new charges of second-degree theft, second-degree assault, possession of a stolen motor vehicle and attempting to elude police. Kupien was booked for second-degree theft and Kerney was arrested on an outstanding misdemeanor arrest warrant.