Local

‘Dine and dash’ driver not even old enough for a learner’s permit

The car that the girl was driving after an alleged “dine and dash” Saturday morning at Denny’s was damaged as Bellingham Police cars boxed it in using a special pursuit technique designed to force the driver to spin out.
The car that the girl was driving after an alleged “dine and dash” Saturday morning at Denny’s was damaged as Bellingham Police cars boxed it in using a special pursuit technique designed to force the driver to spin out. Courtesy to The Bellingham Herald

Three Bellingham youths were booked into juvenile detention early Saturday after a police officer saw them apparently “dine and dash” from a restaurant and speed away, allegedly breaking several traffic laws.

No injuries were reported as the officer gave chase and forced their car to spin out and stop using a special pursuit technique, said Lt. Don Almer.

Three people in the car were two boys and a girl ages 12, 13, and 14 – with the girl at the wheel, Almer said.

Their names weren’t released because of their ages.

“The suspect vehicle was momentarily immobilized but then tried to drive off again between two patrol vehicles, striking one of them in an attempt to flee again,” Almer said.

Both the youths’ car – which belonged to one of their parents – and two Bellingham Police units sustained minor damage, Almer said.

Almer said the incident began about 3 a.m. Saturday near Denny’s restaurant, 161 Telegraph Road, as a patrol officer saw two boys sprinting toward a car parked with its engine idling.

“A female was in the vehicle’s driver’s seat and when the two runners got inside the vehicle, the vehicle took off at a high rate of speed through the parking lot and onto Telegraph Road,” Almer said. “The vehicle went through a red traffic signal at Meridian Street and made abrupt lane changes on Meridian Street while speeding over the posted 35 mph limit and braking hard at seemingly random intervals.”

Almer said officers chased the girl’s car for about 8 minutes until she was forced to stop near Bed Bath and Beyond at Meridian Street and Kellogg Road.

She was booked into juvenile detention on suspicion of attempting to elude a police vehicle, hit and run of an attended vehicle, and third-degree theft. The boys face charges of third-degree theft.

Robert Mittendorf: 360-756-2805, @BhamMitty

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