GRANDVIEW, Wash. (AP) — Police are looking for a 21-year-old Grandview man accused of robbing a convenience store Monday night and carjacking two vehicles at gunpoint.
The Yakima County sheriff's office says the fleeing robber drove his car into a ditch then took a pickup truck from someone who had stopped to help.
Deputies say the robber left the truck at a rest stop on Interstate 82 and stole a car, a Volkswagen Jetta, from a woman.
Ellensburg police spotted the stolen Jetta and chased it north on Highway 97 across Blewett Pass toward Wenatchee until they broke off the chase in the interest of public safety.
Police are looking for the stolen Jetta, Washington license AFB9512.
If you have any information, please contact the Yakima Sheriff's office.
Here's the news release from the Yakima County Sheriff's Office:
On 11-19-2012 at about 1820 hours Grandview Police responded to an armed robbery that had just taken place at a convenience store in the 100 block of East Wine Country Rd. A suspect armed with firearm had entered the store and then fled in a 1998 Cadillac DeVille after an undisclosed amount of cash was taken from the store clerk.
At about 1823 hours Yakima County Sheriff’s deputies responded to a reported armed robbery north of Grandview in the 2000 block of Wilson Highway. At this location it was determined that citizens had seen what ended up being the suspect vehicle in Grandview’s armed robbery, stuck in the ditch after having run off the road. The citizens stopped to make sure any occupants were okay when a male suspect pointed a firearm at them and demanded their vehicle. The good Samaritans sped away before the suspect could take their vehicle.
Meanwhile a citizen that lives nearby walked out to see if everyone was okay when the suspect then pointed the gun at him and demanded the keys to one of his vehicles. The suspect received the keys and sped away in the then stolen 1987 Ford Ranger. The Cadillac used in the convenience store armed robbery was left at this scene.
Responding law enforcement officers searched the area without success.
At about 1950 hours Yakima SO deputies responded to the west bound rest area of Interstate 82 at mile post 22 regarding a carjacking. Upon arrival deputies found the 1987 Ford Ranger stolen from Grandview. A male and female victim at this location advised they were passing through the area and stopped at this rest area for a few minutes. The male driver of the victim vehicle went into the restroom when the 1987 Ford Ranger pulled up. The driver exited the pickup and pointed a firearm at the female passenger of their Silver 2011 Volkswagen Jetta. The suspect ordered the female out of the Jetta at which time the suspect drove off with the Jetta leaving the stolen Ford Ranger at the location. The male victim exited the restroom, saw the Jetta leaving the area and became aware of what was taking place. The male victim fired several shots from his own firearm at his stolen vehicle although it is not known if the vehicle was struck.
The stolen Jetta bearing Washington license plates AFB9512 was then seen heading west on Interstate 82.
Ellensburg law enforcement officers were advised to be on the lookout for the vehicle. A short time later law enforcement officers in the Ellensburg area saw the stolen Jetta and became involved in a high speed pursuit of the vehicle north on Highway 97 across Blewett Pass. The Ellensburg law enforcement officers terminated the pursuit in the interest of public safety. The stolen Jetta was believed to have been last seen continuing north on Highway 97 toward Wenatchee. All area law enforcement agencies have been notified.
The suspect in these multiple robberies has been preliminarily identified as 21 year old Marcel Maldonado from Grandview. Mr Maldonado is to be considered armed and dangerous. A photo of Mr Maldonado is attached below. The Cadillac involved in the original armed robbery is owned by Mr Maldonado. If anyone has information on the whereabouts of Mr Maldonado or the stolen Jetta please call 911. Mr Maldonado is believed to be still in possession of the Silver 2011 Volkswagen Jetta bearing Washington license AFB9512.
Additional inquiries on this case should be directed to Yakima SO Detective Chief Graham or Detective Sergeant Udell at 509-574-2500.