WAPATO Two apparent hitchhikers were arrested Tuesday and booked into the Yakima County Jail after stealing a Wapato man’s vehicle at gunpoint.
Adolph Victor Garza, 27, of Toppenish, and Savannah L. George, 32, of Wapato, were booked into the Yakima County Jail yesterday on multiple charges stemming from the carjacking.
Garza, who has six previous felony convictions, is facing charges of first-degree robbery, vehicular assault, eluding, resisting arrest and unlawful possession of a firearm. George is being held for first-degree robbery.
According to Yakima County Sheriff’s Office Sgt. C. Sanderson, deputies responded to the 2600 block of Donald Road at about 5:59 p.m. for a reported carjacking by a man and woman pretending to be hitchhikers.
“Information was obtained that the victim’s vehicle (a 2002 Mercury Mountaineer) had been taken at gunpoint and the suspects had fled the area,” Sanderson said, noting several law enforcement agencies began searching for the stolen vehicle.
Police did not release the name of the 28-year-old victim, who said he did not know Garza or George.
The victim picked up the suspects “because they were hitchhiking,” a police report said.
“A Wapato PD officer located the suspects still in the victim’s vehicle,” Sanderson said. “When the Wapato officer tried to initiate a stop, the suspects fled and began to lead several officers on a high-speed pursuit.”
Speeds topped 100 mph during the chase, he said.
Booking documents show deputy D. Perez joined the pursuit.
“I activated my emergency lights and sirens and the vehicle failed to yield,” Perez wrote in his report.
The suspects collided with another vehicle near the intersection of U.S. Highway 97 and Lateral A Road near Parker, Sanderson said.
“Shortly after the collision, a trooper attempted to stop the suspect vehicle utilizing stop sticks,” he said. “Although one of the tires was deflated with the stop sticks, the suspects continued to flee.”
Perez finally ended the chase when he used his car to ram the fleeing suspects.
“Once the vehicle stopped, Mr. Garza exited and began to flee,” Perez said, noting he pursued the suspect on foot. “Mr. Garza refused to comply with my commands as he reached in his waistband, pulled out the handgun and threw it on the ground.”
The carjacking was caught on video.
The video shows the robbery and George assisting Garza, Perez said.
George was taken into custody without further incident.