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Discarded Starbucks cup puts police on trail of suspect

Posted Mar 7, 2014 6:44 PM CDT
By Martha Neil

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A Washington state woman who says she was attacked and threatened by the driver of a sport utility vehicle after accepting a ride put police on the trail of a suspect when she pointed to items that had fallen out of the car's open door as she exited while it was still moving.

Among them was a Starbucks cup, which had a sticker that identified the drive-through at which the drink was purchased and exactly when, the Olympian reports.

Olympia police contacted the Pierce County Starbucks and got surveillance footage from the drive-through. It showed the license plate number of a white 2005 Cadillac Escalade that seemed to match the woman's vehicle description. A detective got a driver's license photo for the husband of the Escalade's registered owner, and he looked like a police artist’s sketch of the suspect.

Police then compiled a photo montage, and both the woman who had pointed out the Starbucks cup and another woman who said she had suffered a similar attack selected the man's photo. The unidentified man has been arrested and is being held at the Thurston County Jail on suspicion of one count of first-degree rape, one count of attempted first-degree rape and two counts of first-degree kidnapping.

Olympia police are continuing to investigate and have asked that anyone else who may have been victimized by the same suspect come forward with information.

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