Suspects connected with two burglaries reported to Sunnyside police yesterday (Wednesday) were unsuccessful in making a clean get-away.
That's because one ran into a Korean War veteran who was unafraid of protecting his property and the others were unaware an alert citizen was keeping an eye on another home.
Sunnyside police at approximately 11 a.m. yesterday raced to a home in the 1400 block of South Eighth Street for a reported burglary witnessed by an alert neighbor.
The neighbor reported seeing two subjects entering a home and removing what appeared to be a television and Christmas gifts.
The neighbor provided police with a description of the suspect vehicle, as well as a license plate number.
Police arrived to confirm the home had been burglarized and alerted outside agencies to be on the lookout for the suspect vehicle. That vehicle, police determined, was registered to a home in Toppenish.
Sgt. Joey Glossen, the Sunnyside Police Department public information officer, said Sunnyside Deputy Police Chief Phil Schenck was traveling into the city of Sunnyside when he spotted a vehicle matching the description provided in the earlier alert.
He turned his vehicle around in an attempt to conduct a felony traffic stop, according to Glossen.
The vehicle stopped momentarily, but when Schenck was in the process of making contact with the vehicle's driver, the driver accelerated from the stop and a pursuit ensued.
The suspects led Schenck on a pursuit through Granger and nearly to Toppenish before crashing on North Track Road on the boundary of the Toppenish city limits.
Multiple agencies responded to the scene as four suspects exited the vehicle and attempted to flee on foot.
All four were caught, according to Glossen.
He said the suspect vehicle caught fire and Schenck used a fire extinguisher he carries in his vehicle, as well as an extinguisher provided by a citizen to put the fire out.
The suspects, Hugo Yepez-Pozos, 21, of Toppenish and three juvenile males from Toppenish were all taken into custody.
They were transported to the Sunnyside Law & Justice Center and face burglary charges.
The vehicle was towed to the Sunnyside Police Department, a search warrant was obtained and executed. All the items believed to have been stolen from the home on South Eighth Street were recovered.
Glossen said police found several televisions and Christmas gifts. A few sustained fire damage.
Police also took into custody Arturo Galvez, 24, of Sunnyside yesterday after he allegedly attempted to burglarize a shed belonging to a Korean War veteran in the 1500 block of East Harrison Avenue.
Glossen said Sunnyside police were notified of a burglary in progress at the home at around 6 p.m. yesterday.
The homeowner, he said, had a suspect held at gunpoint near the shed.
Glossen said it appeared as though Galvez jumped a 6-foot tall fence to gain access to the shed.
Nothing was stolen from the property and Glossen said Galvez is in custody on a requested charge of burglary second degree.