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North Whatcom Fire & Rescue aid crew tend to a stolen car suspect as law enforcement look on after using a pit maneuver stopped the car in Blaine (April 19, 2020). Photo: My Ferndale News

Stolen vehicle quickly recovered after multiagency response

Law enforcement personnel from Whatcom County Sheriff’s Office, Blaine Police Department and Washington State Patrol leveraged citizen reports to recover a restored black 1969 Chevrolet Chevelle reported stolen about 6am this morning from a Slater Road residence.

The car owner, Butch Aldrich, told My Ferndale News he heard the sound of his car as it was being driven away from his house this morning. Aldrich said he immediately called 911 and started notifying friends who began looking for the car.

The vehicle was initially reported to 911 What-Comm dispatch as having been seen in the area of Enterprise Road and Grandview Road. Aldrich said he later started getting calls reporting the car having been seen further north. He eventually spotted the car in the area of Birch Bay-Lynden Road and Stein Road and followed it to the dead end of Stein Road.

The Chevelle turned around at the dead end and rammed the minivan Aldrich was in as it maneuvered around the minivan. Aldrich said the minivan ended up in the ditch on the east side of the road and he watched the Chevelle drive into the ditch on the west side and then continue south on Stein Road.

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Soon after, the Chevelle was reported seen westbound on Sweet Road near Harvey Road. Law enforcement from multiple agencies took up positions to intercept the vehicle according to emergency radio transmissions.

It was about 3 hours after the car had been reported stolen when a WCSO deputy reported by radio having the vehicle stopped at the intersection of Hughes Avenue and Peace Portal Drive and the driver had been detained.

Aldrich said he was told a WCSO deputy had used a pursuit intervention technique (PIT) maneuver to stop the Chevelle.

  • Front of a reported stolen car after colliding with at least 1 civilian vehicle and a pit maneuver stopped it in Blaine (April 19, 2020). Photo: My Ferndale News
  • Right side of reported stolen car after colliding with at least 1 civilian vehicle and a pit maneuver stopped it in Blaine (April 19, 2020). Photo: My Ferndale News
  • Left side of reported stolen car after colliding with at least 1 civilian vehicle and a pit maneuver stopped it in Blaine (April 19, 2020). Photo: My Ferndale News

There was an unconfirmed report of at least 1 other civilian vehicle having been hit by the Chevelle before it was stopped according to emergency radio transmissions.

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The driver was seen in handcuffs at the scene. He was transported to PeaceHealth St Joseph’s Medical Center by North Whatcom Fire & Rescue aid crews according to the incident log.

WCSO is investigating.

Aldrich said the Chevelle was a 3-year restoration project, noting “it was junk when I bought it.” He emphasized he is not worried about repairing the body damage because his friend, Nick Ranson, at A.D. Auto Body was going to help. He was able to drive it home after it was released by law enforcement.

Butch Aldrich's 1969 Chevrolet Chevelle prior to being stolen and damaged. Photo: Butch Aldrich
Butch Aldrich’s 1969 Chevrolet Chevelle prior to being stolen and damaged. Photo: Butch Aldrich

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