Capital Mall Robbery Suspects Use Bear Mace, Flee on I-5, Olympia Police Say


An alleged robbery involving bear mace at the Capital Mall Macy's turned into a high-speed pursuit Wednesday evening.

With the help of Thurston County deputies, Olympia police arrested two individuals in connection to the case: a 29-year-old woman and a 57-year-old man, Lt. Paul Lower told the Olympian.

The two allegedly sped away from the mall and finally stopped at the Mounts Road Southwest I-5 exit where they were arrested without incident, Lower said. A third person allegedly involved in the robbery eluded law enforcement in a separate vehicle.

Police booked them both into Thurston County jail on suspicion of first-degree robbery, according to the jail log.

The woman has also been accused of attempting to elude pursuing police, hit and run attended, third-degree driving while license suspended and operating a vehicle without an ignition interlock when required.

Lower said the alleged robbery started around 8 p.m. at the Macy's Department Store. An employee noticed the man was carrying a large amount of merchandise in a bag and confronted him. A verbal argument ensued.

From there, Lower said two women supported the man and the argument turned into a physical altercation. The employee backed off and the three individuals left the store with about $750 worth of merchandise.

Lower said the employee then decided to follow the three individuals into the parking lot to record video of their vehicles. At that point, he said the man and the third woman, who ultimately eluded police, both sprayed the employee with bear mace.

Officers arrived on the scene shortly after the alleged assault, Lower said, but the three individuals sped away in two different vehicles.

Police followed one of the vehicles to the intersection of Capital Mall Drive and Cooper Point Road where they reportedly observed the driver strike another vehicle and speed away.

Lower described the collision as minor and said no one way hurt.

After the collision, the vehicle made its way onto the U.S. 101 and eventually got onto northbound I-5. Police continued to purse the vehicle which reached speeds upwards of 80 miles per hour, Lower said.

Once the vehicle left the Olympia area, Lower said the Thurston County Sheriff deputies took over the pursuit and followed them all the way to the Mounts Road I-5 exit.

At that point, Lower said the vehicle slowed to a stop on Mounts Road and the two individuals in the car complied with law enforcement's orders.

The third individual who left the scene in a separate car has not yet been found, Lower said.

He added the employee recovered from the assault and no one else was hurt during the alleged robbery or chase.