Beef jerky leads to arrest of murder suspect

Updated:

SEATTLE - A man with an outstanding murder warrant was arrested early Monday after officers caught him stealing a package of beef jerky from a Belltown store, Seattle police said.

Shortly after midnight, bicycle officers were patrolling the 1500 block of Second Avenue when they were flagged down by an employee of Joe’s Mart, who told them that the man standing next to him outside the store had left without paying for the beef jerky he was holding. 

 When officers asked the man for his identification, he said he had none with him, and checks of the name and birthdate he gave the officers came back with no records.

Officers said they saw that the man was wearing a single dog tag around his neck, which had a different name on it than the name he had provided earlier, but the man claimed the tag belonged to his uncle.

When patrol officer in a car stopped by the location, the bicycle officers used the computer in the car to further check the name on the dog tag.   A felony warrant for second-degree murder under the name on the dog tag, Curtis Earl Jones, came back. 

 A warrant had been issued for Jones earlier in the month by one of the Seattle police Traffic Collision Investigation Squad detectives after a September 2012 collision in Belltown in which one of the victims later died. The victim who died, Sheila Helvie, was a passenger in the truck driven by Jones.

Prosecutors said Jones was driving a stolen truck when he crashed into a car while fleeing from police. Court documents said Jones had consumed marijuana, alcohol, cocaine before the crash and a crack pipe and other drug paraphernalia were found in the truck’s glove compartment.

The officers obtained the wanted bulletin and photo of Jones and confirmed that the man in the shoplifting incident was the same Curtis Earl Jones that was wanted in the Belltown collision.

The warrant was verified, and Jones, 47, was arrested. 

Officers later found the Jones’ driver’s license in his pocket. 

He was booked into the King County Jail.

Jones is charged with second-degree murder, vehicular assault, reckless endangerment, and driving with a suspended or revoked license.