Person of interest identified in 72 car prowls in Federal Way

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FEDERAL WAY, Wash. — A person of interest has been identified in dozens of car prowls in Federal Way that happened over two days earlier this month.

The crime spree began on Feb. 10, when 21 separate vehicle windows were broken at the Dumas Bay Centre but only one item was stolen.

The suspects were described as five juvenile males in a stolen car.

About two hours later, 17 more cars were broken into at the Federal Way Commons lot, followed by four more at an apartment complex.

The break-ins continued the next day, with 10 cars at the King County Aquatic Center and 17 others at a local church.

“So far there is a total of at least 72 cars that were damaged and rummaged through,” Federal Way Police said in a Facebook post.

That same day at 11:30 a.m., officers found a “suspect vehicle” with five people inside in the McDonald’s parking lot at the Crossings, at Pacific Highway South and South 348th Street.

Police said as soon as the suspects saw the patrol car, they sped off eastbound on 348th and then onto southbound Interstate 5, eluding officers.

By law, officers were unable to chase the suspects because they are only suspected of property crimes, something that spurred Federal Way Police Chief Andy J. Hwang to post a statement demanding that Washington pursuit laws change.

The suspects’ car was later found empty in Puyallup. Investigators later identified a person of interest and released photos Thursday, which appear to be a young man.

If you have any information or recognize the person of interest, you’re asked to call the Federal Way Police Department at 253-835-2121, extension 0.