Felon charged with stealing four vehicles – all at once!

How does a man pilfer four vehicles at the same time in outer East Portland, from a parking lot in Lents? Take a look to find out how he did it, and how he was caught …

After driving wildly through late Sunday afternoon traffic, narrowly missing other vehicles and pedestrians along the way, a suspected vehicle thief swerves off the road and crashes at the edge of the Powellhurst-Gilbert neighborhood.

Story and photos by David F. Ashton

Due to legal rules in Oregon, it is often very difficult for law enforcement officers to charge a suspect with vehicle theft – stealing cars and trucks is an everyday occurrence, especially here in outer East Portland.

On Sunday afternoon, August 1, Portland Police Bureau (PPB) East Precinct officers were alerted at 5:39 p.m. to be on the lookout for a stolen light-bronze-colored Ford F250 “King Cab” pickup truck, with a “toy hauler” trailer attached.

>> To discover how one suspected thief was charged stealing with four (4) vehicles – in the same act – read on.

“A responding officer broadcast the description of the truck, trailer, and cargo – which was somewhat unique,” reported PPB Public Information Officer Lt. Greg Pashley.

After a family enjoyed a fun day of off-roading, a thief made off with their truck, trailer, and the ATVs it was carrying.

“The truck and trailer had been parked in a parking lot at Eastport Plaza, while the owner conducted personal business at one or more retail outlets,” Lt. Pashley went on. “There is nothing in the reports indicating that the vehicle was running, or that the keys had been left in the truck.

“Other officers on patrol that afternoon saw it near NE 82nd Avenue of Roses and Glisan Street; however, when signaled to pull over, the driver failed to stop.”

Although it appeared not to have yet been fully wired, the impact of the truck hitting this newly-installed steel traffic signal utility box knocked it off its mounting bolts.

Taking off southbound on the Avenue of Roses, the driver attempted to turn east on SE Division Street; but, going too fast, the accused truck thief lost control. The truck and trailer swerved, then jumped the curb on Division, before knocking a newly-installed steel traffic signal utility box off its pedestal.

The truck, with trailer in tow, careened across the sidewalk – which fortunately was clear of pedestrians – and mowed down a row of bushes before coming to a stop in the Super Market convenience store’s parking lot.

“The suspect fled, but officers captured him a short distance from where he left the truck and trailer,” Pashley reported.

Family members looked over their stolen vehicles and found them (mostly) intact.

The suspect, who later identified himself to officers as “22-year-old Chase R. Head” – you’ll see in a moment why it’s in quotes – ran west, crossing SE 82nd Avenue of Roses while dodging traffic – but he was captured in the parking lot of the quick-lube store. He was treated at the scene by Portland Fire & Rescue Engine 19 paramedic/firefighters, before he was first taken to a local hospital to be evaluated, before being booked into jail.

“Officers recovered a firearm from inside the truck that did not belong to the truck owner,” Pashley added.

“Mr. Head” racked up an impressive list of Felony and Misdemeanor charges as he was booked into the Multnomah County Detention Center (MCDC) at 12:58 a.m. on August 2:

  1. Resisting Arrest,
  2. Reckless Driving,
  3. Criminal Mischief I,
  4. Interfering with a Police Officer,
  5. Attempt to Elude (on foot),
  6. Attempt to Elude (in vehicle),
  7. Four counts of Failure to Perform the Duties of a Driver (property damage),
  8. Four counts of Unauthorized Use of a Vehicle,
  9. Felon In Possession of a Firearm, and,
  10. Four counts of Possession of a Stolen Vehicle.


When we were unable to find the name suspect’s name – “Chase R. Head” – in our search of the MCDC records, we turned to Multnomah County Sheriff’s Office Public Information Officer Chris Liedle for help.

After dealing with his parole situation in Clackamas County, the man known both as “22-year-old Chase R. Head” and “26-year-old William Francis Hicks” will then face 11 Felony and eight Misdemeanor charges in Multnomah County. MCDC booking photo

“The suspect, who the PPB had identified as ‘Chase Head’, was booked under a different name: 26-year-old William Francis Hicks; when he was entered in the system — his fingerprints matched to his primary booking name, which is ‘Chase Head’.

“A ‘primary booking name’ is the name that is provided at the first booking in the State of Oregon,” Liedle explained. “Hicks is considered a secondary booking name, kind of like an alias in laymen’s terms.”

“At the pre-trial release interview, Multnomah County Court staff learned there was a ‘Parole Hold’ outstanding for Head/Hicks, out of Clackamas County,” Liedle revealed.

On August 4, Head/Hicks was transferred to the Clackamas County Sheriff’s Office; at some point, he’ll be returned to Multnomah County to face this list of criminal charges.

How could this man be charged with simultaneously stealing four vehicles at the same time?
Head/Hicks is accused of stealing the pickup truck, a four-wheeler ATV in the truck bed, the “toy hauler” trailer, and the vehicle inside if it.

It will be interesting to see if a judge now decides to waive many of the charges in this “stolen, stolen, stolen, stolen vehicle” case – a case in which drivers or pedestrians could have been seriously injured, or even shot by the armed suspect.

© 2021 David F. Ashton ~ East Portland News ™


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