Earlier Tuesday morning, Yakima police officers arrested Barry G. Mitchell, 37, of Yakima for robbery and trespassing. The incident that led to his arrest took place in a parking lot near 4th Avenue and Tieton Drive at about 7:45 am today.
As she arrived at work, Lana Barnes, 69, also of Yakima, noticed Mitchell behaving strangely near the vehicle of a co-worker as she arrived to work. She called 9-1-1 to report what she observed. As she was on the phone with emergency operators, Mitchell approached Barnes and opened her vehicle door. Mitchell forced Barnes out of her 2007 KIA Sportage and stole it from her.
At about 8:20 am, officers were sent to the 3900 block of Lincoln Avenue on a suspicious person and possible assault call. Based on the description of the suspect, officers believed the suspect was Mitchell.
Officers located Mitchell near a home that was under construction. Mitchell entered the home in an effort to avoid capture. Officers surrounded the home and Mitchell was taken into custody without incident. Barnes’ 2007 KIA Sportage was located in front of the home.
Further investigation revealed that Mitchell had attempted to enter another vehicle while in the 3900 Block of Lincoln. It was also discovered that Mitchell had walked away from a nearby treatment facility just prior to stealing Barnes’ car.
Mitchell was booked into the Yakima County Department of Corrections for suspicion of Second-Degree Robbery, Second-Degree Trespass, and Vehicle Meddling. Fortunately, Barnes was not injured in this incident. “Mrs. Barnes was very brave during this incident,” said Yakima Police Lieutenant Chad Stephens. “It was her detailed description of the suspect that allowed us to identify him prior to his arrest.”