Car thief arrested after faking illness

Stolen vehicle crashes during chase

A car thief who faked a medical problem was arrested in Northeast Portland early Sunday morning.

Russell Everett Ellis, 43, was booked into the Multnomah County Jail on charges of Unlawful Use of a Motor Vehicle, Attempt to Elude in a Vehicle, Possession of Methamphetamine, Unlawful Entry into a Motor Vehicle, Theft in the Second Degree, Criminal Mischief in the Second Degree, and Reckless Driving. His bail is set at $25,000.

According to police, the incident began at 5:55 a.m. when officers assigned to North Precinct responded to the 700 block of Northeast Stanton Street after a caller to 9-1-1 reported seeing two suspects break into a neighbor's car and leave the area in a vehicle.

As officers were driving to the scene, the caller told police that the suspects broke out the back window of a neighbor's car and left the area in a small SUV-type vehicle. The caller also gave the license plate number to police.

The responding officers spotted the suspect vehicle, a 2007 Toyota RAV-4. The officers behind the vehicle as it entered I-5 northbound from Broadway.

The officers then activated the overhead lights but the vehicle sped away northbound. As the vehicle exited the freeway at the Greeley exit, it hit the wall and crashed.

The officers stepped and the male driver got out of the vehicle and began to comply with their instructions. But as the suspect walked toward the officers, he appeared to have some type of medical issue and he collapsed. When officers handcuffed him, his body went completely limp.

Medical personnel immediately responded and transported him to Legacy Emanuel Hospital where he was treated and released after approximately 15 minutes. Based on his medical treatment, it appears that he was faking a medical event, police say.

Officers at the crash scene recovered a backpack taken in the car prowl and determined that the vehicle was a stolen car. A female passenger and a dog in the car were released without charges.