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Car chase, crash connected to Bainbridge Island car prowls
A Kitsap County couple has been charged with theft for several smash-and-grab car prowls on Bainbridge Island after they were arrested following a high-speed chase and crash in Port Orchard.
Police said Bobby Lee Royster and Lydia Adele Heagy were taken into custody after an officer saw the couple leave a Port Orchard home that was known for drug activity.
The pair drove off in a stolen 2010 Honda CRV with stolen plates, and the officer gave chase when the couple drove past him going the wrong direction on a one-way street.
Police said Royster refused to pull over. Instead, he accelerated up to 70 miles per hour after two additional patrol cars joined the pursuit.
Royster then tried to escape the pursuing police cars by passing other vehicles on Sidney Road south of Port Orchard.
But during one attempt at passing other cars, Royster clipped the rear end of a Ford Ranger and sent the truck into a ditch, where it hit a retaining wall and flipped.
Police arrested the couple in the stolen Honda at gunpoint after the crash.
The driver inside the truck, a 64-year-old South Kitsap man, was taken to Tacoma General Hospital with serious injuries.
Police arrested Royster, 44, for vehicular assault, driving while under the influence of alcohol or drugs, possession of a stolen vehicle, possession of stolen property and felony eluding. He also had an escape warrant for his arrest from the Department of Corrections for failing to maintain contact with authorities while on work release, and another warrant for theft.
Royster was booked into Kitsap County Jail and bail was set at $105,000.
Officers asked Royster why he fled.
"I really made a bad choice," he allegedly said, adding that he just "panicked and did not want to be locked up."
Heagy, 34, complained of pain after the collision and was taken to Harrison Medical Center for treatment. A plastic bag full of suspected methamphetamine was discovered in her bra at the hospital.
She was released after receiving medical care and was booked into jail for possession of meth, possession of stolen property and theft. Her bail was set at $50,000.
Police said the pair was responsible for a string of recent car prowls across Kitsap County, including ones on Bainbridge Island.
"They both admitted to all the thefts on Bainbridge where windows were smashed and items were stolen from inside cars," said Detective Scott Weiss of the Bainbridge Island Police Department. "There was evidence from quite a few different crimes from across the county, and a few from across the county line."
Weiss said the couple claimed they committed the crimes so they could get meth.
"They admitted to what they had done, including using some of the victims' credit cards," Weiss said. "They both said they would trade anything that was worth money straight across for drugs. Then they would use the credit cards until they were shut down."
Police found suspected stolen credit cards and gift cards in the couple's possession. A glass pipe commonly used for smoking meth was also found in the vehicle, but both Royster and Heagy denied having anything to do with it.
The couple allegedly admitted to three smash-and-grab style thefts from island vehicles, as well as another car prowl on Bainbridge.
Police found possible evidence from the prowls inside the Honda, which
had been reported stolen on Nov. 20 in east Bremerton. Loose spark plugs were found inside the crashed car, and Weiss said spark plugs are commonly used to shatter glass.
Police said the couple are responsible for recent car prowls on the island.
A car parked at Island Fitness was broken into sometime around 6 a.m. Tuesday, Jan. 15 while its owner exercised inside.
After smashing the passenger side window, the suspects took a handbag containing an iPad and prescription glasses. The bag also held files containing personal information such as Social Security and bank account numbers.
Officers responded to the parking lot of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints where another car's window was smashed on the same day. An envelope containing $147 in cash was stolen from inside the car sometime between 8 and 9:51 a.m. The owner intended to deposit the money at a local bank after visiting the church.
Another theft was reported a week earlier at the Bainbridge Public Library. A window was smashed and a purse was stolen from inside a car parked at the library on the afternoon of Jan. 8.