Two men arrested in car theft cases on North Whidbey

Police reports of stolen cars indicate that the alleged perpetrators weren’t exactly master criminals

Police reports in two recent cases involving stolen cars on North Whidbey indicate that the alleged perpetrators weren’t exactly master criminals.

In the first case, a 1990 Ford Bronco was stolen from an Oak Harbor home on Feb. 20. Later that day, an officer with the State Department of Fish and Wildlife reported contacting 35-year-old John Gil-Genato Umayam at the Cornet Bay boat launch. The officer was going to issue Umayam an infraction, but Umayam jumped into a Bronco and drove away at a high rate of speed, according to a police report.

Soon afterward, Oak Harbor police went to Umayam’s home and saw the stolen Bronco sitting in the driveway, the report states. Officers found Umayam “moving around” in the back of the stolen vehicle and arrested him; he told officers that he had purchased the Bronco from “Mikey,” the officer wrote.

Prosecutors charged Umayam in Island County Superior Court Feb. 23 with possession of a stolen vehicle.

In the other case, a car thief was thwarted by an elderly couple and a parking brake, according to court documents.

The victim told police that he parked at a church on North Oak Harbor Street and left the keys in the car while he placed some signs. When he went back to the car, a stranger, later identified as 26-year-old Anthony Bishop of Auburn, was in the driver’s seat, the police report states. The man ran to his car, but Bishop locked the car door and tried to drive away; he only got about six feet, however, because he didn’t deactivate the parking brake, the report states.

The man’s wife managed to open the passenger door. Bishop tried to flee but the man “took hold” of him, the officer wrote. Another man was driving by and stopped to help after seeing “an elderly man fighting with a young man,” the report states. After he was caught, Bishop allegedly told the older man that he had been kicked out of the Island County Rehabilitation Center and was trying to find a way home, the report states.

Prosecutors charged Bishop in Island County Superior Court March 3 with taking a motor vehicle without permission in the second degree.