Crime

It took nearly 4 hours, but troopers locate motorcyclist after 100 mph chase on I-5

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The Washington State Patrol is the state police agency for Washington.
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The Washington State Patrol is the state police agency for Washington.

It took more than 3½ hours and the Washington State Patrol twice had to break off the chase, but troopers managed to catch their man Saturday morning after a Blaine motorcyclist led them on a pursuit that reached speeds of 100 mph through Whatcom and Skagit counties.

Adam Scott Wilgus, 32, was booked into Whatcom County Jail on suspicion of attempting to elude police vehicles, obstructing a police officer, reckless endangerment and fugitive from justice warrants. Jail records show he is being held in lieu of $250,000 bail.

According to information provided to The Bellingham Herald by Trooper Heather Axtman, troopers first attempted to stop Wilgus, who was riding a black 2002 Yamaha, at 8:56 a.m. because of an obstructed license plate while Wilgus was heading northbound through Bellingham on Interstate 5 near Sunset Drive.

“What we’ve found is a lot of motorcycles with obstructed plates are stolen or involved in some sort of activity we find suspicious,” Axtman told The Herald. “Motorcyclists know exactly where they’re supposed to be, and when they obstruct them, it’s usually malicious.”

Wilgus exited at Sunset, Axtman said, and was clocked doing 60 mph near Applebees, before he got back on I-5 heading south. Troopers followed, as speeds reached triple digits by the time Wilgus approached Samish Way, and he reportedly maintained that speed into Skagit County.

At 9:14 a.m., Wilgus exited the freeway at Cook Road, Axtman said, before continuing southbound in the northbound lanes. It was at that point that troopers broke off the chase.

Approximately six minutes later, Wilgus was spotted heading northbound — now in the proper lanes of travel — near the Bow Hill rest stop, Axtman said. Troopers re-engaged, but once again had to end the chase when he got off the freeway at the Alger exit.

Axtman said troopers were able to get a brief facial description or the rider and a possible license plate number for the motorcycle during the chase, and at 11:40 a.m., troopers received word from Skagit County law enforcement on a possible location for Wilgus.

At 12:04 p.m., troopers found the motorcycle, still warm to the touch, hidden under a blanket near a residence on Reservation Lane, Axtman said, and by 12:32 p.m., they had Wilgus in custody.

According to court records, Wilgus has previous felony convictions for possession of a controlled substance, trafficking stolen property and possession of a stolen firearm from 2007.

Wilgus also was wanted on a felony warrant out of Bellingham on suspicion of third-degree theft, possession of a controlled substance, second-degree possession of stolen property, first-degree property trafficking and bail jumping stemming from incidents in 2018, according to court records. Axtman said he also was wanted on a no-bond hold for suspected shoplifting out of Las Cruces, N.M.

“It must have been a heck of a shoplifting, because they really want him back,” Axtman said.

David Rasbach joined The Bellingham Herald in 2005 and now covers breaking news. He has been an editor and writer in several western states since 1994.
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