Man arrested in connection with carjacking near Toppenish

YAKIMA COUNTY SHERIFF'S OFFICE NEWS RELEASE -- On 05-01-2014 at about 1555 hours a 61 year old female resident of Yakima was traveling home on State Route 22 just outside of Toppenish when she saw a vehicle in the ditch on Branch Rd. The female stopped to see if any assistance was needed when a male from the vehicle in the ditch shoved her to the ground and stole her 2010 Toyota Prius and fled in the vehicle. Responding law enforcement officers determined that the vehicle the suspect had just abandoned in the ditch (a 2004 Chevrolet Impala) had been reported stolen to the Yakama Nation Tribal Police at about 0630 hours earlier the same day from the 100 block of Progressive Rd. The Impala had also been involved in a burglary in the Buena area earlier in the day.

At about 1939 hours a Yakima SO deputy in the Buena area spotted the stolen Prius being driven by a lone occupant. The suspect ran from the vehicle but was apprehended a short time later. The Prius owner came to the scene and positively identified the suspect as the person that had stolen it from her by force.

The suspect is a 21 year old resident of Buena. He has been booked into the Yakima County jail for robbery and multiple counts of being in possession of a stolen motor vehicle. The suspect remains under investigation for the burglary as well as a third stolen vehicle that was recovered in the same area just before the suspect was spotted in the Prius. The 61 year old victim received only minor injuries from her fall and has her vehicle back.