Car theft suspect nabbed after high-speed chase


A Bellingham man was arrested on suspicion of car theft and several other charges Sunday night following a high-speed car chase from north of Custer to Ferndale, authorities said.

Vitaliy Madyka, 28, faces charges of third-degree driving with a suspended license, operating a vehicle without an ignition interlock device, attempting to elude a police vehicle, second-degree burglary, making or possessing burglary tools, second-degree vehicle prowl, possession of a stolen vehicle and obstructing a police officer.

Whatcom County Undersheriff Jeff Parks said the chase started after a sheriff’s deputy pulled over Madyka near Portal Way and Interstate 5 about 6 p.m. Sunday because Madyka was driving a white four-door 1994 Acura that matched the description of a car stolen outside the Ferndale Public Library. Madyka sped away as the deputy approached the car on foot, Parks said.

Madyka drove as fast as 95 mph as the Acura barreled south on Portal Way through a closed construction zone with two deputies in pursuit, Parks said. They found the Acura abandoned, with the driver’s door open and the motor running.

Parks said sheriff’s deputies, officers with dogs, and Ferndale Police officers cordoned off the area and cornered Madyka in the fenced and locked impound lot of Heston Hauling, 6397 Portal Way.

“He was hiding in the tow yard, but they flushed him out,” Parks said.

Witnesses at a nearby RV park and at Heston Hauling had called 911 to report a suspicious man with a backpack, Parks said.

According to Parks and court records, Madyka has been arrested several times for various criminal offenses and traffic citations. In June 2016, he received a sentence of one year or less in jail for heroin possession. He also has a conviction for trafficking stolen property.

Parks said the interlock device violation was added because the car didn’t have such a device, and Madyka is required to have one in any vehicle he is driving. The burglary charges stem from the car theft and the break-in at Heston Hauling, he said.

Robert Mittendorf: 360-756-2805, @BhamMitty