Children safe after border run

Published on Thu, Mar 19, 2009 by Pat Grubb

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Two women were booked into Whatcom County Jail after stealing a vehicle containing two children and leading Bellingham police, Whatcom County sheriff’s deputies, Washington State Patrol and Blaine police on an erratic chase from Bellingham to the Peace Arch border crossing.

The suspects, Chandra Dibley, 40, and Debra Montez, 50, stole a van around 7:15 p.m. Tuesday containing a five-year-old boy and seven-year-old girl who were left inside the vehicle with the engine left running while the mother was shopping at the Cost Cutter store on Meridian Street in Bellingham. The mother notified the police after exiting the store and finding the van gone.

A driver going north-bound on I-5 reported the van as it made its way north and police cars managed to catch up around Ferndale. Despite an attempt to box the car in with police vehicles, the women managed to drive through the U.S. border station before being stopped short of Canada Customs.

The two were charged with first degree kidnapping and first degree theft. The driver, Dibley, was also charged with eluding a police officer. The children were returned unharmed to their mother.