Apparent shoplifting incident leads to high speed police pursuit

Four Lower Valley residents are in police custody, being held on investigation after a high speed pursuit that ensued yesterday (Wednesday).

The action began when employees of Sunnyside's Rite Aid store alerted police to a theft in progress just after 5 p.m. yesterday.

Sunnyside police were responding to the scene as the security guard attempted to detain two subjects, later identified as Jose A. Silva, 22, of Wapato and Helen M. Guerrero-Garcia, 23, of Zillah.

The subjects refused to stop for the security guard and fled the store, according to police.

Authorities said Silva and Guerrero-Garcia jumped into a vehicle that was waiting outside in which there were two other occupants.

Silva, said police, took control of the vehicle and security officers pursued the suspects in an attempt to obtain the license plate number to the 2002 Chrysler Sebring the suspects were in.

Authorities say Silva attempted to run over the security officer.

Police arrived at the Mid Valley Mall and attempted to stop the suspect vehicle, but Silva eluded the authorities.

Officers said Silva drove his vehicle behind the mall to East Edison Avenue and drove eastbound from that location.

The pursuit continued north on SR-241 to Van Belle Road. The suspect traveled at a high rate of speed, reaching 120 miles per hour, for a total of 13 miles. The pursuit stretched as far as SR-223 in Granger from Van Belle Road. At SR-223 and Indian Church Road, just outside Granger, Silva attempted to turn southbound, say police.

However, the suspect lost control of the vehicle and crashed into a guardrail.

Police said Silva jumped out of the vehicle and attempted to run from police officers still in pursuit. But, an officer drew his taser and used non-lethal force to subdue the suspect, who was found to be wanted on several warrants.

Silva, say authorities, was wanted for failing to appear in court for sentencing on a possession of a stolen vehicle charge, failing to appear on a DUI sentence, failing to appear for giving a false statement at an arraignment hearing and failure to appear on a driving while license suspended third degree arraignment hearing.

Guerrero-Garcia and the other two passengers, identified as Katie R. Bell, 26, of Sunnyside and Silva's brother, Enrique T. Silva, 19, of Zillah, remained with the vehicle following the crash.

Guerrero-Garcia was transported to Sunnyside Community Hospital for injuries sustained, and following treatment she was released to officials.

Bell and the younger Silva were treated at the crash site and released into police custody.

The Silva brothers, say police, are documented gang members and the incident is under investigation.

Sunnyside police are investigating the incidents that occurred within city limits, and the Washington State Patrol is assisting in investigating the vehicle crash on SR-223.

Assisting Sunnyside officers with the pursuit were police from Granger and Zillah, as well as troopers from the Washington State Patrol and deputies from the Yakima County Sheriff's office.


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