Suspected car thief arrested after chase

Oak Harbor police officers pursued stolen cars three times in the last two weeks, the latest of which ended with an arrest.

Oak Harbor Police Chief Kevin Dresker said an officer spotted a stolen car cruising through the city Thursday night and attempted to stop it.

The vehicle sped off and the officer chased after it until the driver lost control in the West Beach area.

The driver then fled on foot, but the officer chased after the man and caught him. The officer found stolen credit cards in the area near the man, Dresker said.

Investigators are in the process of writing a search warrant for the car and a backpack inside the car.

The man is a potential suspect in thefts from cars around the city, the police chief said.

The suspect was scheduled to appear in Island County Superior Court Friday.

The stolen car was a rental and the thief was able to start it because a key fob was left inside, Dresker said.

In an incident earlier this week and one last week, patrol officers spotted stolen cars traveling in the city and gave chase.

The pursuits were ended, however, because of safety concerns, Dresker said.

Officers have a lead on the identity of a suspect in one of the two chases, according to Dresker.

Another car was also reported stolen recently, but it wasn’t involved in a chase. All of the cars were recovered.

The police chief said investigators believe a small group of car thieves is responsible for the recent incidents.

Dresker said police don’t know what the thieves had planned for the cars, but obviously it didn’t work out for them.

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