Emily McGregor of Silverdale was at work in Poulsbo July 26 when police came by about 11 p.m. and asked about an accident that happened just outside.
They were told a car thief had escaped and was on the loose.
He still is. And five hours later the next day at 5 a.m., when McGregor got off work, she found out hers was one of at least three cars the man had stolen.
He still has her 2014 black E230 Mercedes and her wallet. She knows that because he bought gas about a mile away with one of her credit cards at around 11 p.m., then crossed the Tacoma Narrows Bridge with her Good2Go pass the next day around 11 a.m.
McGregor is astonished that the thief was on the Kitsap Peninsula for about 12 hours with her car, and he wasn’t caught – especially at the bridge.
She said there are only a few directions he could go. He certainly wouldn’t take one of the ferries. He probably wouldn’t drive the long way around up to Port Angeles. He would either take the quickest route, the bridge, or drive toward Shelton.
She wonders why police didn’t work together and communicate well enough so they could catch him.
It’s not like they didn’t have a number of opportunities.
The Washington State Patrol reported he initially drove a stolen car to the ferry dock and abandoned it. The man then tried to steal a ferry worker’s car off the Bainbridge Island ferry. He reportedly couldn’t start the car, stole a ferry worker’s vest, and stole another car, a 2006 Audi A3.
The Washington State Patrol reported the man then drove to Poulsbo, ran a red light and crashed at the intersection of Highway 305 and Bond Road. Two Poulsbo residents were injured and transported to a hospital. The victims were a 66-year-old woman and a 76-year-old man.
The suspect was driving northbound, and the two victims southbound in a Toyota Camry. The driver fled on foot, and a K9 was unsuccessful in tracking him, the WSP memo says.
That’s when he must have stolen McGregor’s car, she said, by getting her keys from the back area at her work. “He was stealing cars that were really fast,” McGregor said.
She said she’s been busy canceling credit cards and all those other things people have to do when their wallet is stolen. She’s also had to change the locks at her residence because those are on her car key ring.
McGregor reiterated that with so few checkpoints, the culprit should not have been able to escape. “This was not managed well,” she said. “There are a lot of flaws in the system.”
She did say she does have good car insurance, which will help her pay for a replacement if she doesn’t get her vehicle returned.