Prosecutors charged a man who allegedly stole a pickup truck from a North Whidbey church, led a state trooper on a high-speed chase and then crashed into a house before running away, according to court documents.
Prosecutor charged 31-year-old Derek J. Cartmell of Anacortes in Island County Superior Court Nov. 21 with possession of a stolen vehicle, attempting to elude, possession of methamphetamine and hit and run.
Cartmell posted $50,000 bail Nov. 20. If convicted, he could face more than four years in prison under the standard sentencing range.
Breaking the case didn’t exactly require a lot of police work. After the driver ran off, deputies found a backpack inside the truck, which contained a wallet with Cartmell’s drivers license, his social security card, his Department of Corrections offender ID card and a Quest card, according to reports.
A Washington state trooper spotted the stolen 1994 GMC truck Nov. 1 as the driver was speeding in the area of Crosby Road. He tried to pull the truck over, but the driver sped off.
The trooper chased the pickup for about five miles at speeds up to 100 mph. It ended abruptly when the driver lost control at the intersection of West Beach and Hastie Lake roads and plowed through a yard before hitting a brick house.
The suspect ran off and police were unable to find him, but he left behind the backpack, a cell phone and a bag of suspected meth, according to court documents.
The pickup had been stolen from the Life Church in Oak Harbor the previous night.