A suspect was able to escape from authorities Tuesday after leading police on a half-mile chase in a stolen pickup.
Anthony Roberts, a transient in his 30s, bailed out of the Chevy Silverado on a dead-end street, said Richland police Capt. Mike Cobb.
The Silverado was reported stolen from a lot in Kennewick on Tuesday morning and a trailer it was towing was reported stolen from a Kennewick construction site several months ago. Roberts ran across railroad tracks on foot after hitting Carrier Road, which dead-ends at the Yakima River, railroad tracks and Highway 240, Cobb said.
“A train was coming, so officers didn’t want to dash in front of the train to make an arrest for a theft suspect,” he said.
Police used dogs to search the area around Carrier Road near the Chamna Natural Preserve in Richland for about two hours. Roberts never was found.
The search involved Richland and Kennewick police, the Washington State Patrol, Benton County Sheriff’s Office, U.S. Marshals and the state Department of Fish and Wildlife.
Officers first spotted Roberts when they responded to a report of a vehicle break-in at the Richland Fred Meyer off Wellsian Way about 12:30 p.m.
Roberts allegedly broke out a window to a vehicle while his wife was inside the store, Cobb said. He may have been looking to steal property. Investigators are working to find out if anything was taken.
Witnesses called police, who found out the Silverado and trailer were stolen, Cobb said. When officers tried to stop Roberts, he sped out of the parking lot.
“The guy tried to run from them in the parking lot and sideswiped another pickup truck,” Cobb said.
Roberts turned onto Aaron Drive and Jadwin Avenue before reaching Carrier Road, Cobb said. He then jumped out and took off across the tracks. No one else was inside the pickup, Cobb said.
Police took a statement from Roberts’ wife, who said she was inside the store the entire time and didn’t know what was going on, Cobb said. Authorities plan to search the pickup and trailer for stolen property, Cobb said.
Anyone with information on Roberts’ whereabouts is asked to call police at 628-0333.