Crime

Police roundup: 6 arrested in Kennewick for alleged auto theft ring

Kennewick police have arrested five adults and a girl in connection with an alleged auto theft ring, they said Saturday.

Four stolen cars were found in Kennewick and Finley, as arrests and information led them to more stolen vehicles.

On Thursday they received a call that Mario Uvalle's Ford Expedition had been stolen from outside his home on the 500 block of South Quincy Street.

Officers found the car not far away and witnesses led them to Dustin Harrington, 23, of Kennewick, as a suspect in a nearby apartment, according to police reports. Keys to the Expedition were found in his apartment, said Sgt. Jesse Mill.

They also found a second stolen car, a Dodge Intrepid reported stolen several weeks ago, in the parking lot of Harrington's apartment, Mill said. Witnesses helped link Jeremy Swanson, 20, of Kennewick, and a juvenile girl to that car, Mill said.

Suspects also led officers to a third stolen car, a Chevy Venture, in the 900 block of South Elm Street, according to police reports.

Officers arrested Harrington on suspicion of theft and Brandy Bruce, 22, of Kennewick, on suspicion of second degree possession of stolen property and on three warrants, according to police reports. They also arrested Swanson and the unnamed girl on suspicion of theft of a motor vehicle, according to police reports.

Officers also learned during the investigation that a fourth stolen car, a Honda Accord, may have been sold in Finley on Thursday.

They found the car near 19830 E. 10th Ave. and used a search warrant to enter a residence there. Jose Mata, 30, of Finley, and Aaron Morris, 27, of Kennewick, were arrested for suspicion of involvement with auto theft, according to police reports. Additional arrests also were made for possession of narcotics.

State patrol DUI unit helps in arrests

Police concentrated on catching drunken drivers this weekend in the Tri-Cities and surrounding area with the support of the Washington State Patrol's Mobile Impaired Driving Unit.

The bus-sized unit is staffed by state troopers and equipped with holding cells and three blood alcohol content instruments to quickly process suspects.

A typical drunken driving arrest can take up to 90 minutes to complete, but the WSP Mobile Impaired Driving Unit allows officers to complete an arrest and return to patrolling up to an hour sooner.

Officers conducting the emphasis patrols Friday and Saturday nights were with the Kennewick, Richland, Pasco, West Richland and Connell police departments; the Benton and Franklin county sheriff's offices; and the state patrol.

Kennewick man breaks neck in rollover accident

A young Kennewick man broke his neck when he rolled his car in the Rancho Reata area just west of Kennewick Friday night, according to the Benton County Sheriff's Office.

Deputies responded to the report of a rollover accident at 9:10 p.m. Friday and found a black 2005 Acura with Scott Robert Taylor, 25, trapped inside. The Benton County Fire Department helped extricate Taylor, who had many cuts. He was the only one in the car, according to deputies.

He was taken to Kadlec Medical Center in Richland, where he was in serious condition Saturday.

Deputies believe Taylor was driving too fast as he traveled east on Reata Road near Mata Court, according to police reports. Deputies also are investigating whether alcohol or drugs contributed to the accident, the reports said.

Pasco driver's van hits semi trailer

Two Pasco residents were taken to Lourdes Medical Center Friday night after their van ran into a semi trailer on Interstate 82.

Joseph Garcia, 66, of Pasco, was driving a van about nine miles from the Oregon border at 9 p.m. Friday.

He failed to slow quickly enough for the semi tractor and trailer being driven at a slow rate of speed by Dean Welch, 38, of Kennewick, according to the Washington State Patrol. Garcia swerved to the left into the median, overcorrected, then hit the trailer, the state patrol said.

He and his passenger, Elza Martinez Perez, 55, of Pasco, were taken to Lourdes in Pasco for treatment. Both were wearing seat belts. They were treated for injuries and later released, according to the hospital. Welch was not injured.

Police investigating possible fatal accident

Law enforcement officers were at the scene of an apparent fatal accident south of Finley late Saturday night.

Preliminary reports indicated a vehicle had rolled just before 8 p.m. on South Nine Canyon Road and that the driver had been thrown from the car.

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