What started as a man asking for a cigarette turned into a chase around Columbia Center mall.
A woman was sitting in her car in the mall parking lot in Kennewick on Monday night when a man walked up to her open passenger’s side window and asked for a cigarette.
When the woman said she didn’t smoke, he reached inside and grabbed her purse and dashed to a nearby car, police said.
The woman followed that car in her own car in what became a chase around the mall. The chase ended in a fender bender at Gage Boulevard and Pittsburgh Street.
The alleged thief and his driver, Veronica Cruz, 21, ran away from the wrecked car. Officers found Cruz hiding near Buffalo Wild Wings. They weren’t able to find the suspected thief.
Anyone with information about the incident or the suspect’s location is asked to call Kennewick police at 509-628-0333.