SAN FRANCISCO — The search for a car that was stolen from a home in a usually tranquil suburb of San Francisco where a retired schoolteacher was killed has come to an end outside of Seattle, and a man and his wife wanted in the unrelated shooting of a Los Angeles County sheriff's deputy have been arrested, police said.
Darnell Washington, 24, and his 25-year-old wife, Tania Washington, were taken into custody and the car stolen from the Hercules home of Susie Ko was recovered Wednesday, said King County sheriff's Sgt. Cindy West.
Ko, 55, was found dead on the floor of her home by neighbors who were called by her husband, Kelvin, when she failed to pick him up at Oakland International Airport late Friday.
After her body was found, Hercules police said the only thing that appeared to be missing from the home was the family's Subaru station wagon.
Around 9 a.m. Wednesday, a police officer in the Seattle suburb of SeaTac ran the plate of a Subaru and found it was reported stolen in California, West said.
"He noticed the car and hadn't seen it in the neighborhood before," West said. "So he ran a check of the plates, and it came back stolen."
But instead of stopping for the officer, the driver took off, ramming the officer's car as it sped away, West said.
With additional officers called to help, police were eventually able to box in the car, and the two occupants were arrested. Police said they found a shotgun in the car.
Besides recovering the stolen car, King County authorities also determined that the Washingtons were wanted for an alleged crime spree in Southern California, that included Darnell Washington escaping from San Bernardino County jail in August, the shooting of a Los Angeles County sheriff's deputy in El Monte and a series of carjackings.
The deputy was wounded in a shootout, but was treated and released from a hospital.
"There are a lot of communities safer tonight," said Capt. Mike Parker, Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department spokesman.
Hercules police detectives were going to Washington to interview the couple, police spokesman Connie Van Putten said.
"We're calling them persons of interest because they were in the car taken from the home," Van Putten said. "It's a major break in the case. If these people are not the suspects, maybe they can lead us to the suspects."
The killing of Ko shook up officials and residents of Hercules, a mostly residential community of upscale homes and quiet neighborhoods about 23 miles northeast of San Francisco.
The homicide was the first in Hercules since 2010, and the city has seen only seen five homicides in the past 12 years, Van Putten said.
Darnell and Tania Washington were being held in King County Jail, West said. She did not know if a court date had been set.