June 26, 2000
Though the method is not recommended by police agencies or spouses, a Woodinville woman caught the suspect who had apparently stolen her car several hours earlier.
What started as a stop for coffee at the Rainbow Grocery turned into a stolen vehicle report. After leaving her keys in the car, the woman was coming out of the store and noticed her car being driven away by an unknown female.
The car's owner went home, phoned police, canceled her credit cards, and borrowed her husband's truck to go to work. As she drove on Hwy. 522, she saw her car go by. Thinking her husband was following behind her, she turned around and began following her car, which had turned down a side street and into a residential driveway.
With her husband's truck, the woman blocked the vehicle from leaving. The apparent vehicle thief got out of the stolen car with the woman's cell phone in hand and asked the owner for a ride. The owner said "yes" if she could use the cell phone. After giving the 911 dispatcher the street address, the car's owner waited and watched police arrest the suspect as she walked down the street.
"I would never have followed her if I hadn't thought my husband was behind me calling the police on his cell phone," said the owner, who asked not to be identified. "I thought he recognized our car, and I wasn't about to let her just drive off."