SHELTON, Wash. - Two Shelton men are in jail today after a community effort in which residents of the Skokomish Valley, Troopers from the Washington State Patrol, Agents from the Department of Wildlife, and Mason County Sheriff’s Deputies all banded together to capture the two alleged car thieves.
Currently in custody at the Mason County Jail is Javier M. Valencia, 33, Shelton, and Joshua B. Sherman, 31, Shelton. Both are charged with possession of a stolen motor vehicle and Sherman is charged with Eluding.
This incident started to unfold at about 7AM on Monday when a North Blevins Road resident was awoken to see her 1993 Honda Civic being stolen followed by another Honda leaving the area quickly.
The woman immediately called 911 and Sheriff’s deputies were alerted. As the description of the stolen vehicle and accomplice were being broadcast, a Sheriff’s deputy observed the two cars heading north on Highway 101. According to Sheriff’s Deputies, the stolen Honda went up the California Road in an attempt to get away from deputies. The deputy continued to search the area of the California Road for the suspects. In the meantime other deputies, Troopers from the Washington State Patrol, and Agents from the Department of Wildlife converged on the area.
After several minutes of searching the California Road area, the deputy again spotted the two vehicles. A short pursuit started until the suspects approached another deputy’s car now on the Eells Hill Road who was trying to cut off the escape of the two suspect drivers. Both Hondas stopped abruptly and the drivers jumped out of the vehicles, diving over the very steep embankment.
Officers from all three agencies carefully coordinated a search of the area that included the Skokomish Valley and Eells Hill. Two Mason County K-9 units and the State Patrol Aircraft, using a Forward Looking Infrared, were deployed in the three hours search for the two suspects.
Just as officers had called off the search for the suspects, a Skokomish Valley resident called to inform deputies that one of the suspects was in his backyard. Deputies quickly responded and took Sherman into custody.
A short time later another Skokomish Valley resident called in to report a man with only one shoe was going through mailboxes. Deputies arrived a few minutes later and arrested a very cold and wet Valencia.
Through investigation, Deputies were able to determine that both cars driven by Valencia and Sherman were stolen from Shelton. Deputies say that the investigation is continuing and that Valencia and Sherman were cooperating with investigators. Both men are expected to make their first court appearance today.