Centralia Man Arrested After Allegedly Stealing $1,000 in Groceries, Driving Over Spike Strip


A man accused of stealing $1,000 worth of items from a Centralia grocery store and then fleeing from officers, continuing to drive after a spike strip deflated his vehicle’s tires, in January has been arrested on a $25,000 warrant. 

The man, identified in Lewis County Superior Court documents as Adrian Garcia, 31, of Centralia, was booked into the Lewis County Jail on Feb. 8. 

He was charged Jan. 23 with one count each of second-degree theft, attempting to elude a pursuing police vehicle and first-degree criminal impersonation stemming from a Jan. 18 incident. 

Officers with the Centralia Police Department had responded to the Safeway on Harrison Avenue in Centralia on a report that a suspect had stolen what was later determined to be $1,105.68 in items and fled in a blue Dodge SUV, according to court documents. 

The suspect had reportedly used the self-checkout to check out multiple items in a shopping cart, “but when it came time to pay, he exited the store,” according to court documents. 

Officers located a vehicle matching that description, initiated a traffic stop and saw “numerous Safeway bags inside the vehicle,” according to court documents. 

Because the driver, who was later identified as Garcia, reportedly “appeared nervous” and still had the car in gear during the traffic stop, officers placed a spike strip in front of the vehicle “in case Garcia attempted to drive away,” according to court documents. 

The driver initially identified himself as “Henry Garcia,” and while one of the officers was checking the name in their system, “he heard the sound of tires popping and looked up to observe Garcia driving away,” according to court documents. 

The officers pursued with their lights and sirens activated for a short distance, but disengaged when they saw Garcia run a stop sign at an intersection, according to court documents. They reportedly saw him run a second stop sign before turning out of sight. 

An officer soon found the vehicle in a parking lot on Pearl Street, but none of the grocery bags were inside. A group of people reportedly told law enforcement that a man had run from the vehicle and was hiding down the road, but officers were not able to locate Garcia in the area, according to court documents. 

A Lewis County Superior Court judge issued a $25,000 for Garcia’s arrest the same day charges were filed, on Jan. 23. 

Despite Garcia’s lack of criminal history, Judge Joely Yeager ruled Thursday to maintain that bail amount at Garcia’s preliminary hearing in Lewis County Superior Court. 

“I think $25,000 is appropriate here given the significant risk for flight,” Yeager said. 

Garcia’s arraignment hearing is scheduled for Thursday, Feb. 16.