Car thief smashes thru intersection, racks up charges

See why it appears that this fellow just couldn’t help but keep from making bad choices, one, after another, after another …

The occupants of this car – now smashed beyond repair – couldn’t get out of the way of the fleeing man police say was driving a stolen car.

Story and photos by David F. Ashton
Whether the driver was hopped up on methamphetamine, or had seen too many TV shows in which clever crooks eluded police by speeding away – the truth behind his actions may never be known.

What we do know, is that this a 24 year old man, said to be driving a stolen vehicle, late in the evening on May 25, failed miserably to make a cinematic-style getaway in a Honda reported stolen about 24 hours earlier.

Police search the car they say was stolen the night before, and find a sleeping bag, personal items, and what they believe to be a stash of methamphetamine.

Foiled by alert officer
When police officers head out on patrol, they get a “hot sheet”, which lists stolen vehicles, as part of their roll-call briefing.

“A Portland Police Bureau (PPB) K-9 patrol officer came up behind a car believed to have been stolen in Southeast Portland last night,” PPB East Precinct Sergeant Darren Roeser explained, at the place where this story came to a smashing conclusion.

“He radioed in to check on the vehicle, confirmed that it was stolen, and called for other officers to converge, as he followed the white Honda,” Roeser continued.

The officer started following the car at 11:15 p.m., police spokesperson Detective Mary Wheat later recounted. Following the action on the police radio, the officer tracked the reported stolen car as it headed east on S.E. Powell Boulevard, turned south on S.E. 65th Avenue, cut through to SE Foster Road, and headed west on Foster.

The stolen car slowed down for a red light that soon flashed green at S.E. 52nd Avenue.

“The officer turned on his overhead lights, signaling for the driver to stop,” Roeser said. “As it approached the intersection where S.E. Foster Road joins S.E. Powell, the Honda rear-ended a citizen’s car in the left-hand turn lane. It continued on northbound on SE 50th Avenue until it was cut off and forced to stop by additional officers’ cars.”

Waiting for medical attention, the suspected car thief sits on the curb after Portland Fire & Rescue medics put a cervical collar on him.

This suspected smashing car stealer got his trip to the hospital, but his medical complaints only got him a three hour reprieve from being booked into the jail.

Two vehicles wrecked
The white Honda – Detective Wheat said it had been taken the previous night from the area of S.E. 24th and Powell, was heavily damaged in the collision. “The occupants of the car that was rear-ended were very fortunate, given the amount of damage to their vehicle,” Sgt. Roeser observed at the scene. “They said they were not injured, and were not transported for medical treatment.”

However, the alleged car thief, after being taken into custody, claimed he was injured in the crash he caused. Portland Fire & Rescue paramedics from Woodstock’s Engine 25 assessed the man, and prepared him for an ambulance trip to a local hospital for evaluation. Apparently his injuries were slight – Multnomah County Justice Center’s Intake Division’s records show that man was thereafter promptly booked into jail at 3:26 a.m.

The unfortunate SE Portland neighbors who own this car may never be able to drive it again.

This man, 24-year-old Mark Anthony Richardson, was booked into jail on multiple felony charges related to this incident.

Man racks up many charges
“The suspect in this incident has been identified as 24-year-old Mark Anthony Richardson,” Detective Wheat revealed the following day, adding that he was being charged with four felonies and four misdemeanors.

According to Multnomah County Sheriff’s Office booking records, those charges include Possession of a Controlled Substance (methamphetamine); Unauthorized Use of a Motor Vehicle; Possession of a Stolen Motor Vehicle; Attempt to Elude by Vehicle; Reckless Driving; Failure to Perform the Duties of a Driver (Hit and Run); Reckless Endangerment; Theft III; and, Criminal Mischief II.

At this writing, Richardson is currently in jail with bail set at $30,000.

Traffic at the complex intersection of S.E. Foster Road, SE Powell Boulevard, and SE 50th Avenue, was shut down after the smashup caused by a fleeing car driven by a man police accuse of being a thief.

© 2010 David F. Ashton ~ East Portland News

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