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Coeur d’Alene police get their man, following late Saturday car theft

Coeur d’Alene police arrested a 35-year-old man accused of stealing a woman’s car late Saturday near a Lake City restaurant.

Police said they apprehended Charles C. Petrich after he fled the scene and refused to stop when confronted by a law enforcement officer.

The vehicle owner called police about 11:35 p.m. when she saw the suspect drive away with her car from the parking lot of the Neider Avenue Red Lobster.

A quick-responding patrol officer saw the car in a parking lot of a nearby Safeway store. The officer saw Petrich behind the wheel and tried to make him exit the car.

Petrich kept driving, eventually high-centering the car on a snowbank. The officer again ordered Petrich out, but he managed to get the car moving. He continued east through the lot and then northbound onto Government way. Petrich did not have the vehicle headlights on, the officer’s report said.

Petrich turned eastbound on Kathleen Ave. and approached a roundabout at Fourth Street. He lost control of the vehicle and crashed. The Idaho State Police responded and completed the accident investigation.

Petrich was taken into custody. He is charged with auto theft, felony eluding of police, DUI and driving while suspended.