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Area man pursues driver of his car before realizing it's just his wife

Area man pursues driver of his car before realizing it's just his wife

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A Castle Rock-area resident had it in mind to catch a car thief Sunday.

He caught his wife instead.

The man, thinking he spotted someone driving his white Toyota minivan, alerted police and pursued the vehicle and driver in his black BMW southbound on Interstate 5 for about six miles before breaking off the 70-75 mph effort in Kelso.

The man realized his wife was driving the minivan as he pulled in behind her on the freeway.

“Never mind, it’s my wife,” the man told dispatchers, according to 911 logs. “She got up and left. I don’t know why.”

The Cowlitz County Sheriff’s Office, Kelso police and the Washington State Patrol set up at a few points on the freeway, but ultimately never participated in the incident, Cowlitz County Sheriff’s Chief Criminal Deputy Troy Brightbill said.

“It looks like the reporting party was the one doing the pursuing,” he said.

It’s not unheard of for people to call 911 under the mistaken belief that their vehicle has been stolen, only to realize a family member took it out, Brightbill said. But typically, those situations involve parents who don’t realize their teenage kids have taken the car.

“I can’t think of one where they actually had (the vehicle) pass them and started to pursue it,” Brightbill said. “So that’s a new one for us.”

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