Police: Stolen beef jerky leads to arrest of suspect in fatal crash

SEATTLE -- A man wanted in connection with a fatal crash in September was arrested Monday after stealing a package of beef jerky less than one mile from the scene of the accident, according to the Seattle Police Department.

A murder warrant was issued for Curtis Jones, 47, earlier this month after officers were unable to find him.

According to police, Jones was behind the wheel of a truck that collided with another car and smashed into a Belltown apartment building, injuring himself and three other people, on Sept. 18.

That morning, an officer tried to pull over the truck, which turned out to have been stolen, when the officer saw its occupants tossing things out the window, according to police.

Police say Jones refused to pull over, instead driving off at a high rate of speed. Officers gave up the chase, but Jones was still speeding down an alley near the 300 block of Wall Street when he collided with an SUV, according to police.

The truck's three occupants had to be cut out of the vehicle and were hospitalized with life-threatening injuries. A 57-year-old woman who had been in the truck died from her injuries weeks later. The driver of the SUV suffered minor injuries.

On Monday, bicycle officers were flagged down in the 1500 block of Second Avenue by a Joe's Mart employee who said a man standing outside the store had stolen a package of beef jerky.

According to police, the man said he didn't have an ID on him and gave officers a fake name and date of birth. When that name failed to turn up any record, officers continued to press the man.

Officers noticed the man was wearing a dog tag around his neck, and the man agreed to let them see it, claiming it belonged to his uncle, according to police. But, the tag, combined with a computer search of the name, confirmed the man as Curtis Jones. Plus, officers later found Jones' driver's license in his pocket.

He was booked into King County Jail.