Teen arrested after allegedly stealing SUV and fleeing police

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Posted: Wednesday, July 17, 2013 6:22 pm

MOSES LAKE – Police arrested a teenager after he stole an SUV and led the Washington State Patrol on a chase from George to Moses Lake.

Gustavo Tapia, an 18-year-old man, was arrested for stealing a motor vehicle, attempting to elude police and DUI, according to the Grant County Sheriff’s Office.

Tapia reportedly called the owner of a 1995 GMC Jimmy and asked for a ride. The owner obliged and picked up three more people after picking up Tapia, according to the sheriff’s office.

When they arrived in George, the owner stepped out of the SUV and Tapia reportedly jumped in the passenger seat and drove away at roughly 2 p.m.

As the owner was filling out paperwork to report the vehicle stolen with a deputy, a Washington State Patrol trooper spotted the car. The GMC was eastbound on Interstate 90. When the trooper tried to stop the car, Tapia allegedly began driving faster, swerving in and out of traffic, at speeds of up to 100 mph.

Tapia reportedly turned off the freeway about 12 miles later, east of Moses Lake, onto County Road O Southwest and stopped just south of the I-90 overpass. Troopers, deputies and Moses Lake police surrounded the car and arrested Tapia.

A passenger, Adrian Diaz, an 18-year-old man, was arrested for a felony warrant.

“I really want to thank and highlight the Washington State Patrol and Moses Lake police,” said Sheriff Tom Jones. “They kept an eye out for the stolen car, pursued it, and were essential in safely taking the occupants into custody.”

Initial dispatch reports of the suspect fleeing from a robbery where referring to how Tapia reportedly took the GMC from the owner. 

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