LONG BEACH — A suspected car thief was arrested after he blew a tire, dumped the stolen car and ran away.
At about 1 p.m. on April 1, Pacific County Sheriff deputies began searching for the man after he left a stolen white Honda in the parking lot of the south Pacific County Administration building; the building houses the south county offices of the Pacific County Sheriff among other county departments.
After the man ran from the car, deputies created a perimeter of the area and used a K-9 unit to flush out the suspect. The man, Patric James Hohl, 27, was arrested for possession of a stolen vehicle. As of April 7, he remains in Pacific County Jail in lieu of a $30,000 bond.
The owner of the stolen Honda, Blaine Ogier, 39, was riding in a car with his friend when the two of them spotted Ogier’s car and began following the driver.
“As soon as we saw him I was pointing him out, and he saw that and he started speeding,” Ogier said.
Ogier and his friend stayed close enough to keep an eye on the car. They saw smoke coming from out the back and at first thought the engine might have blown. The driver then pulled into the administration building parking lot, got out of the car and took off running into a nearby field. Ogier waited for deputies to arrive.
Three cars were reported stolen on April 1 in south Pacific County, according to Patrick Matlock, chief criminal deputy for the Pacific County Sheriff’s Office. There were also four reports of vehicle prowling. One other stolen car was recovered.
“Information leads us to believe these may be connected,” Matlock said. “But we will continue investigating.”
Ogier lives in Chinook and said he heard his car being stolen earlier that day. He woke up at about 5 a.m. and heard what he thought was a truck pull into his driveway, then heard his car start. He ran out of a house and saw his car and a black SUV drive away.
The back right tire of Ogier’s car was left shredded in the crash. He’d just bought the car from a guy in Longview three days ago, Ogier said.