Car theft suspect caught

The suspect in two car thefts which led to car chases with police has been apprehended by Aberdeen police.

Chenui R. Salazar, 25, was found at 4:15 p.m. Friday in a residence on the 700 blook of East First Street. He was arrested without incident and booked on outstanding felony warrants and will likely face new criminal charges regarding the two vehicle thefts. Aberdeen police extend their appreciation to the public for their help apprehending Salazar.

Police say that on two occasions, Salazar has stolen Honda Accords and then, once spotted by police, has sped off through the middle of Aberdeen’s residential areas to avoid arrest. Both incidents have ended in wrecks, one sending a woman in her 60s to the hospital.

On Sept. 30, an officer spotted someone driving a white Honda Accord allegedly failing to use a signal for a lane change. When the officer went to pull the car over, she remembered that a car matching the description of the Honda had been reported stolen. When the officer tried to stop the car, the driver of the Honda increased speed and turned onto Simpson Avenue, police said. When the driver got to the 400 block of Simpson, which is a dead end, he jumped out of the car and fled on foot, leaving a passenger inside the car. The Honda continued to roll, struck a parked car and then rolled into a fence. The passenger was not hurt.

Three days later, on Wednesday afternoon, a different officer happened to spot another Honda Accord at the Quick Stop on West Second Street that had been reported stolen. When the officer tried to pull over the driver, the driver sped away. The officer called off the pursuit almost immediately, police said, but the driver kept going toward a residential area. About two blocks away, the driver sped through an intersection while the driver of a red 1997 Ford F150 was crossing at the same time, police said.

The Honda t-boned the Ford on the passenger side, trapping a woman in her 60s inside the truck. Firefighters from the Aberdeen Fire Department arrived, forced open the door of the truck and freed the woman from the wreck. Both the woman and her husband, 64, who was driving the truck, were taken to the hospital with undisclosed injuries, though police believed the injuries were minor. The couple is from Ocean Shores. Both vehicles were heavily damaged.