The chase started sometime before 6:30 p.m. when a security guard at the Southcenter Mall spotted a group of men breaking into a car. The guard approached the five men, at which point they ran to their own car and sped off.
The guard called police, and officers were soon chasing the men northbound on I-5, according to Eric Drever with the Tukwila Police Department.
During the pursuit, the suspects hit a car and then slammed into a jersey barrier near State Route 599. The car flipped and came to a stop in the middle of the highway. The men got out of the wrecked car and took off on foot, Dever said.
Officers immediately began searching a nearby wooded area, and within minutes they apprehended several people hiding in the brush.
By 8:20 p.m., four suspects were in custody, according to the King County Sheriff's Office, which helped with the search. Three of the men were treated at local hospitals for injuries sustained in the crash. The fourth, who had an escape warrant from the Department of Corrections, was taken directly to jail, Drever said.
The search continued for several hours, but officers weren't able to track down the last suspect.
Joe Dipitro of Connecticut is vacationing in the area. He witnessed part of the chase and saw police nab two of the suspects.
"They were chasing somebody over there, but the helicopter must have spotted him," he said. "They had caught two guys and one guy was on the other side of the fence."
Officers searching the wreckage recovered three loaded handguns, one of which had been reported stolen, Drever said. Another loaded handgun was found in the nearby bushes.
The crash and pursuit once again snarled traffic on I-5. Emergency repairs on southbound I-5 caused an 11 mile backup Thursday morning.