Renton, Tukwila officers track burglary suspects in Tukwila; schools locked down
By DEAN RADFORD
Renton Reporter Editor
May 3, 2012 · Updated 11:12 AM
Two suspects in a Burien burglary remained at large midweek after an extensive search just south of Foster High School in Tukwila by a police tracking dog and officers from Tukwila and Renton.
The manhunt was preceded by a short high-speed chase from Rainier Avenue in Renton to Tukwila International Boulevard in Tukwila.
The pursuit, which started at 11:32 a.m. and lasted just a few minutes, followed all protocols of the Renton Police Department, according to a department spokeswoman.
Tukwila and Renton police officers, along with state troopers, set up a wide perimeter to contain the suspects from Interstate 5 westward toward Tukwila International Boulevard and from South 144th Street at Foster High to South 154th Street near the light-rail tracks.
The two burglary suspects, described as Hispanic males, 5-foot-8 and in their 20s, were spotted by a Renton Police sergeant on Rainier Avenue near McLendon Hardware.
Local police agencies had been alerted that the Burien burglary suspects were driving a green BMW that had been stolen in Kent.
The high-speed pursuit, which reached 70 mph at times, took Renton officers through the Fred Meyer parking lot on Rainier, then to Southwest Seventh Street, Oakesdale Avenue, Grady Way and then to southbound Interstate 405.
They continued west in State Route 518, exiting onto Tukwila International Boulevard. They continued east on South 154th Street, which later becomes Southcenter Boulevard. They fled after leaving the BMW at an apartment complex.
Mike Murphy, a spokesman for the Tukwila Police Department, said Tukwila’s police cars halted their pursuit on South 154th, following protocol. He indicated that Renton’s police cars also stopped their pursuit.
The Renton Police Department is handling the case because the incident involved eluding a Renton Police officer.
Terri Vickers, a spokeswoman for the Renton Police Department, said the department as a matter of procedure reviews all high-speed pursuits. The department’s policy on such pursuits is five pages long, she said.
Officers have discretion to end a pursuit, based on such issues as traffic levels and the pursuit speeds. A sergeant monitors every pursuit, she said.
Inside the search perimeter, about 20 police units – most of the day shifts of the Renton and Tukwila police departments – searched for the suspects. They were assisted by the Washington state troopers.
Vickers said that other officers were still on the streets in Renton.
“We wouldn’t leave Renton unattended,” she said.
The search ended at around 1 p.m., after officers had followed tips from residents who came in contact with the suspects or saw them running through back yards and on streets.
Thorndyke Elementary, Foster High School and Showalter Middle School in the Tukwila School District were locked down about noon; the lockdown ended about 1 p.m.
Contact Renton Reporter Editor Dean Radford at firstname.lastname@example.org or 1-425-255-3484 (ext 5050).