Police arrested a car thief on Capitol Hill early this morning after he stole a pizza delivery driver’s vehicle, ate some chicken wings, and invoked an obscure (some might say non-existent) federal statute in an attempt to street-lawyer his way out of trouble.
Around 1:30 AM Thursday, police were called to the 1400 block of Broadway by the delivery driver, who told officers he had parked his car across the street from his workplace and returned a short time later to find an empty spot where his car had been parked. He told police he had left his keys in the ignition.
The driver described his car to officers, noting the car had a lighted Domino’s sign on its roof, and police set off into the neighborhood to search for the vehicle.
A short time later, an officer spotted the car driving with its headlights out, going the wrong way on a one-way street near 11th Avenue and East Denny Way.
Police arrested the driver, who claimed the stolen car belonged to a friend of his, and that “he was 80% sure that federal law allowed him to take the car.”
Officers noted he appeared to be under the influence of methamphetamine and alcohol, had a suspended license and is legally required to only drive vehicles with an ignition interlock device. The car he stole had no such device.
Officers arrested the 27-year-old man for auto theft and a Department of Corrections warrant, and booked him into the King County Jail.
Police inspected the stolen vehicle and found the suspect appeared to have consumed a box of jalapeno chicken wings. He had also apparently disposed of the car’s Domino’s sign, which was not recovered.