Alleged carjacking attempt stalls

An alleged carjacker likely learned a valuable lesson Tuesday when, police say, he tried to steal a car: Make sure there’s enough gas in the tank for a smooth getaway.

Mason Eubanks, 22, of Saltan was released from the Clark County Jail at about 7:10 p.m. Monday. Just nine hours later and 150 miles north in Auburn, Eubanks attempted to swipe a pickup that had run out of gas on the side of state Highway 18, according to Washington State Patrol Sgt. Jason Hicks.

The driver had called a family member for assistance and was napping inside the pickup when Eubanks knocked on the window around 4:30 a.m. Tuesday. Troopers say Eubanks threatened to shoot the pickup’s owner, who complied and got out of the pickup.

“Those threats did not influence the truck’s fuel-starved engine, which started only briefly and sputtered out after about 50 yards,” Hicks said in a news release.

After the vehicle stalled, Eubanks got out of the pickup and started walking on the highway toward the pickup’s owner. Meanwhile, troopers were on their way. Eubanks tried to hide when they arrived, but he was found and arrested.

He was booked into the King County Jail on suspicion of robbery and vehicle theft.

Troopers did not find a weapon on Eubanks, nor did they find a weapon in the area when they searched for one with police dogs.

Eubanks was serving time in the Clark County Jail for failing to make payments toward his legal fines and fees from a prior conviction. In 2009, he was found guilty of third-degree assault and unlawful imprisonment in Clark County after Eubanks’ friend said Eubanks tried to rape him. Eubanks was arrested on warrants several times for failing to make payments; he owes more than $3,000, according to court documents.

“Like any crime, carjacking is a bad idea,” Hicks said in the news release. “But if you choose to engage in that behavior, it’s perhaps best not to target cars stopped along major highways.”

As part of the investigation, the State Patrol is trying to determine how Eubanks got to King County. He’s scheduled to appear back in court in Clark County on March 6.


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