Mail Thief Attempts to Flee Deputies, Crashes During Pursuit

Washington Co. Sheriff's Office - 11/07/18 

On Wednesday, November 7, 2018, at 12:43 a.m., Washington County Sheriff’s Office deputies responded to a theft in progress at the Clermont Apartments, located at 1835 Northwest 143rd Avenue in the Oak Hills community.

A resident of the complex reported that someone had broken into a community mailbox at the location and was leaving in a vehicle. They provided the license plate and described it as a dark blue 2007 Subaru Outback.

At 1:02 a.m., deputies located the Subaru travelling eastbound on Highway 26 near the Sylvan exit. When deputies attempted to stop the vehicle, the driver led deputies on a pursuit northbound on Southwest Skyline Boulevard, then eastbound on West Burnside Road.

The pursuit ended east of the tunnel on West Burnside Road when the driver failed to negotiate a turn, left the roadway, and crashed on its side into a tree. The driver was extricated from the vehicle and transported to a local hospital with non-life-threatening injuries.

Deputies located numerous burglary tools and a stolen license plate inside the vehicle. The license plates displayed did not match that of the Subaru and deputies are working to determine if they are stolen, as well. The Subaru was seized to later be searched for additional evidence.

Back at the apartment complex, deputies found signs of forced entry to the community mailbox.
The suspect, a 42-year-old man from Southeast Portland, will be identified when he released from the hospital and booked into the Washington County Jail.

Detectives with the Property Crimes Unit are investigating whether this incident is possibly related to the recent rash of thefts from community mailboxes in the Bethany community.
Portland Fire & Rescue and American Medical Response (AMR) assisted at the scene.