A Greenbank man suspected of evading police in a car chase in Clinton on Monday remains on the lam.
The man, identified by the Island County Sheriff’s Office as Mark Hendrix, is wanted on multiple warrants and for questioning concerning a series of U-Haul truck thefts that took place the previous evening. He has not been named as a suspect in the truck heists.
Hendrix is described as a 41-year-old white male who is 5 feet 10 inches tall and weighs 190 pounds. Anyone who has information about Hendrix should call 911 or I-COM dispatch at 360-321-4400.
The manhunt began Monday after three U-Haul trucks and a car trailer were stolen and later found ditched on rural roads across the South End. A sheriff’s deputy who had responded to the reports drove to Naomi’s Mobil gas station at Ken’s Korner and noticed a suspicious vehicle, one that he had seen there earlier that morning. He recognized the driver as Hendrix, as he was wanted on several warrants.
“We had enough information to know this vehicle was somehow connected with the U-Haul thefts; not enough to know he did it, but enough to make contact,” Deputy Grant Walker said. “I made motions to talk and it seemed like he understood, but I could hear the gears start to grind and suddenly he took off.”
According to Lt. Evan Tingstad of the Island County Sheriff’s Office, South Precinct, the two made eye contact before Hendrix started the engine and left the parking lot “very quickly into congested traffic from the ferry” before heading south on Cultus Bay Road. Walker pursued him and attempted to pull him over, but the truck failed to stop after the lights and sirens were activated.
The chase continued for 1.2 miles. Walker said it wasn’t necessarily a high-speed chase, as the vehicles never exceeded 60 miles per hour. He speculated that was due to limitations of the truck; it didn’t seem to be running well, he said. Yet, the fleeing driver escaped. The suspect turned into a residential area in the 6500 block of Cultus Bay Road, abandoned his pickup truck and fled on foot.
“We’re looking for Mr. Hendrix for the warrant that’s been issued and also for eluding the officer that day,” Tingstad said. “Since the vehicle was parked in the area of the crime all day, we would like to talk to him about the U-Haul theft. We haven’t connected the two with certainty.”
The three U-Haul vans were found Monday and the car trailer was located Thursday afternoon. One of the vans was found on Campbell Road near Highway 525, another on Coles Road near Highway 525 and the last van on Bakken Road in Greenbank. The car trailer was also found in the Greenbank area. Police say the equipment was found in the same condition as before it was stolen.
“We have recovered all of our trucks and all of our equipment,” All Island Storage owner Nathan Davis said. “But the investigation is still ongoing. We’re still trying to apprehend the criminal guilty of this crime before we divulge more information.”
The sheriff’s office assumes the culprit stole the items for future thefts, and the trailer to remove a vehicle or similar objects.