MLPD

MOSES LAKE — A 10-time convicted felon is back in jail after police say he stole a running vehicle and fled from law enforcement Sunday morning in Moses Lake.

Valentine D. Gomez, 34, is charged with theft of a motor vehicle, felony eluding, hit-and-run and first-degree unlawful possession of a firearm.

Moses Lake police responded just before 7 a.m. Sunday for a reported vehicle theft on Curry Drive. A resident told police he was just started the vehicle to warm it up when it was stolen from his driveway. The suspect struck a fence as he drove off, according to Moses Lake police.

The vehicle, a Suzuki SX4, was located by police head across the Alder fill. Police attempted a traffic stop but the suspect ran a red light and fled at more than 70 mph. Police did not pursue the suspect due to the state’s police pursuit law.

Shortly after, a Grant County deputy located the vehicle as it turned onto westbound Interstate 90 and turned onto Hansen Road, where the stolen vehicle was traveling at about 100 mph, according to police.

A deputy later located the stolen vehicle on Road 5 Northeast. Gomez was taken into custody at the property. Other occupants at the home told police Gomez had attempted to hide under a bed after arriving in the Suzuki. He was reportedly carrying a backpack and a rifle when he ran inside the home. 

Following the arrest, police asked Gomez if he was a convicted felon and how many felony convictions he had. He reportedly told police he had lost count and was currently out on bail for stealing a car in Benton County. Police later found Gomez has 10 previous felony convictions.