Crime

This Richland man led officers on a 2-county chase in a stolen minivan, say police

Police chased a stolen minivan to the Wallula paper mill after spotting near a gas station on the Pasco-Kahlotus Highway.
Police chased a stolen minivan to the Wallula paper mill after spotting near a gas station on the Pasco-Kahlotus Highway. Pasco Police Department

A Richland man is accused of sparking a small crime spree by leading police on a two-county chase in a stolen minivan.

Pasco police were first called at 2:47 p.m. Thursday about a man shoplifting from the Yoke’s Fresh Market in Pasco.

Witnesses gave police the license number and Officer Mario Becho saw the van at a gas station just off Highway 12 on the Pasco-Kahlotus highway.

The van had previously been stolen from the King City Truck Stop, where the owner parked it with the keys hidden inside.

Becho tried to stop the van as it headed toward Burbank, but the driver, later identified as Edward R. Fernald, kept going.

Other officers and a Washington State Patrol trooper joined in the chase that reached speeds up to 90 mph before Fernald, 55, was pulled over at Wallula in Walla Walla County.

He was booked into the Franklin County jail for attempting to elude police, possession of a stolen car and five arrest warrants from Benton County.

Cameron Probert covers breaking news and higher education for the Tri-City Herald, where he tries to answer readers’ questions about why police officers and firefighters are in your neighborhood. He studied communications at Washington State University.


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