Port Angeles woman charged with stealing Transit bus

Arraignment set for Friday

PORT ANGELES — The Clallam County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office has charged a Port Angeles woman with stealing a Clallam Transit System bus in Sequim on Dec. 27 and then driving it south on U.S. Highway 101 until it was stopped in Mason County.

Hailey Weatherbie, 35, is scheduled to appear in Clallam County Superior Court on Friday for arraignment on a charge of theft of a motor vehicle, a Class B felony that carries a maximum punishment of 10 years in prison and a fine of $20,000. She was charged last Tuesday.

According to a probable cause statement, Clallam Transit staff at about 5 p.m. Dec. 27 noticed a bus missing from the Sequim Transit Center on Cedar Street. A review of security camera video footage taken from outside the transit center showed a woman identified as Weatherbie entering the bus and driving it away at 2:19 p.m. Weatherbie also could be seen in video from on-board cameras driving the bus as it traveled out of Sequim and headed east on U.S. 101.

Clallam Transit identified the location of the bus on state Highway 3 via a GPS tracking device and alerted the State Patrol and the Mason County Sheriff’s Office, according to the statement. A deputy with the Mason County Sheriff’s Office stopped the bus and arrested Weatherbie, who was the vehicle’s sole occupant.

According to a Clallam Transit official, the GPS tracking device showed the bus going through the toll gate at the Bremerton Ferry Terminal but stopping short of driving onto a ferry. The driver of the bus then turned around and continued south on Highway 3 before they were stopped.

Weatherbie was booked into Mason County Jail for possession of a stolen vehicle and released on her own recognizance; the Mason County Prosecutor’s Office declined to pursue the charge.

Clallam Transit General Manager Jim Fetzer said his agency has had no involvement with the case so far and will wait to see how things play out in Superior Court. He said the bus did not sustain any damage and the only expense to the transit system was staff time needed to retrieve the vehicle from Mason County.

In addition to her Feb. 16 arraignment, Weatherbie is scheduled to have a review hearing that day in Clallam County Superior Court regarding restitution payments to the state Department of Social and Health Services for food, childcare and cash benefits she was found to have obtained by making false claims about her living situation.

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Reporter Paula Hunt can be reached at paula.hunt@peninsuladailynews.com.

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