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Ferndale Police secured the stolen vehicle (June 18, 2017). Photo: Discover Ferndale

High-speed pursuit led to large law enforcement presence on Portal Way

It was reported yesterday that law enforcement from multiple agencies had converged on the 6300 block of Portal Way yesterday about 6:45pm. At the time, little was known about why.

Today, Whatcom County Sheriff’s Office (WCSO) issued a new release regarding the incident.

According to the release, a WCSO deputy on patrol around 6pm observed a white Acura traveling eastbound on Birch Bay-Lynden Road near I-5. The 1994 white Acura 4-door had been reported stolen about 4:30pm the same day from the Ferndale Public Library parking lot.

The vehicle, occupied only by the driver, was pulled over on Portal Way near Ferris Road. But when deputies approached, the vehicle sped off south on Portal Way. Pursued by two WCSO deputy vehicles, the Acura reached speeds of 95mph and went through the closed construction zone between Grandview Road and Enterprise Road on Portal Way.

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Deputies lost sight of the vehicle for a short time but then discovered the Acura abandoned on the side of the road in the 6300 block of Portal Way. The passenger door was open and the engine was still running.

A WCSO canine unit responded to the scene as deputies and other law enforcement agencies established a perimeter. People inside The Cedars RV Resort reported seeing a white male wearing blue shorts with a backpack on run west towards the freeway.

The scene of the search for a stolen car suspect after he had been detained (June 18, 2017). Photo: Discover Ferndale

About the same time, What-Comm dispatch received a 9-1-1 call from a neighboring business, Heston Hauling. An employee reported seeing a white male inside their shop area. The employee said the male had left in an unknown direction.

While deputies continued searching the area, workers from Heston Hauling again reported seeing the male, this time in a boat near their building. The male was then spotted climbing onto the roof of a shed and jumping over the business’ impound lot fence topped with razor wire.

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Soon after, deputies cornered the suspect and took him into custody. A black backpack was found near the boat.

The driver was identified as Vitaliy Madyka, age 28.

The stolen Acura was recovered with keys still in the ignition but the keys had been shaved down, making them burglar tools.

Madyka was driving with a suspended drivers license due to failing to appear in court and unpaid tickets. He was also required to have an ignition interlock device in any vehicle he operates. The stolen Acura did not have an ignition interlock.

As a result of the incident, WCSO established probable cause for possession of a stolen vehicle, attempting to elude, 2 counts of 2nd degree burglary, 2nd degree vehicle prowl, obstructing a police officer, 3rd degree driving while license suspended and operating a vehicle without an ignition interlock device.

Madyka was booked into the Whatcom County Jail without incident according to the news release. As of 2pm today, Monday, he remained in custody.


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