A man was arrested early Thursday, April 2, after leading officers on a 100 mph chase on Interstate 5 in a stolen car, according to police.
Around 2 a.m. Thursday, police spotted a black 1998 BMW 540 in a parking lot near the Sehome Haggen that “piqued their interest,” said Bellingham Police Lt. Bob Vander Yacht. They ran the license plates and discovered the plates belonged to a different car.
Police turned on their lights and pulled behind the stolen BMW, but the car sped off. Jeffrey T.C. Oreiro, 31, allegedly drove the BMW north on I-5 at speeds reaching 100 mph as one police car pursued, Vander Yacht said.
Police lost sight of the BMW somewhere between the Meridian and Northwest I-5 exits. A few minutes later, someone called 911 to report a car that sped by their home on Sterling Drive. Officers brought in county police dogs to help search for the car, which was abandoned a few blocks away at a cul-de-sac on Leroy Place, Vander Yacht said.
Sign Up and Save
Get six months of free digital access to The Bellingham Herald
Two women and one man who were passengers in the BMW — Ashley Myrick, 25, Bobby Tally, 33, and Derek Wilson, 29 — were found hiding nearby. They were cooperative with police and said they begged Oreiro to stop the car. They were being treated as victims in the case, Vander Yacht said.
About half an hour later, a police dog found Oreiro hiding underneath a trailer at Bakerview Mobile Estates.
Oreiro, a felon from Kitsap County, was arrested and booked into Whatcom County Jail on suspicion of three counts reckless endangerment, attempting to elude a police vehicle and possession of a stolen vehicle, Vander Yacht said. The BMW was stolen out of Port Orchard.
In 1998, at the age of 14, Oreiro was convicted of attempting to elude police and second-degree theft in Port Orchard.
In 2009, he pleaded guilty to multiple felonies — second-degree burglary, residential burglary, theft of a firearm and unlawful possession of a firearm — and was sentenced to more than four years in prison. Deputies arrested Oreiro at gunpoint in Port Orchard after he nearly hit them with his car and led them on a brief pursuit, according to The Kitsap Sun.