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Two people suspected of going on a month-long crime spree were arrested in King County, Wash. this morning after authorities spotted them in a car reported stolen from a Hercules home where a woman was found murdered Friday, a police officer said. The Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department said one of the suspects, Darnell Washington, 24, allegedly escaped from the San Bernardino County Jail on Aug. 28 with the help of his wife, Tania Washington, 25. Authorities believe the pair went on a crime spree after Washington’s escape that included the shooting of a Los Angeles County Sheriff’s deputy on Sept. 2 after the deputy spotted Darnell Washington and attempted to detain him. The pair fled the area after carjacking a vehicle, according to Los Angeles County Sheriff’s officials. The couple dumped that stolen vehicle in the city of South Gate and allegedly carjacked another car.
Considered armed and dangerous, the couple remained at large until around 9 a.m. today, when a police officer in SeaTac, Wash. spotted the sky blue 2011 Subaru Outback reported stolen from 55-year-old murder victim Susie Ko’s Hercules home on Oct. 5 and attempted to stop the vehicle, police said. Darnell and Tania Washington were identified as the car’s occupants. Instead of yielding to the officer, Darnell Washington sped away, slamming into the officer’s vehicle in the process, according to the King County Sheriff’s Department. Police followed the Subaru, which only stopped after police boxed the car in. Tania Washington then jumped into the car’s backseat and her husband repeatedly rammed into the police cars in an attempt to flee the area, sheriff’s officials said. When the Subaru wouldn’t budge, police ordered the couple out of the vehicle at gunpoint.
The pair was arrested on suspicion of possession of a stolen vehicle and for other alleged crimes committed in King County, where they are being held, Hercules police Detective Connie Van Putten said. Hercules detectives are heading to Washington to interview the pair in connection with the murder of Susie Ko, Van Putten said. Detectives from Los Angeles County and King County will join
Hercules investigators to determine the extent of the crimes the couple committed since Darnell Washington’s escape from jail. Their arrest this morning and the recovery of the stolen Subaru comes less than a week after police found the car’s owner, Hercules resident Ko, unconscious and suffering from stab wounds in her home on Ash Court. She was pronounced dead at the scene.
Officers arrived at the home after Ko’s husband called neighbors when she didn’t arrive to pick him up at the airport Friday night as planned. Ko’s vehicle went missing from the home the night of her murder, prompting a widespread search for the car in the hopes that it would lead to her killers. The FBI also stepped in temporarily to assist Hercules police in gathering evidence, Van Putten said. The victim’s family created a website, welovesusieko.com, seeking help from the public in locating the murder suspects as well as her Subaru Outback. Ko was the principal of Hilltop Chinese School and an elementary school teacher at St. Patrick’s School Rodeo and is survived by her husband and four adult children.
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