Career criminal Robert James Finanders Jr. had a scheme to steal a car left with its engine running in Clackamas County, head to the nearest diner and rip a cash register off its counter.
Finanders briefly got away with more than $1,000 after he targeted the Sharis Restaurant on McLoughlin Boulevard in Oregon City on Sept. 8.
But his tactic caught up with the 52-year-old on Sept. 15 at Hales Restaurant on McLoughlin Boulevard in unincorporated Milwaukie, where patrons dining there chased him to the parking lot and restrained him until police arrived. As Clackamas County Sheriffs Office deputies arrived to the report of a theft in progress, they saw a crowd of Sunday morning restaurant patrons in the parking lot surrounding the Dodge van that Finanders stole out of Portland while in violation of his Multnomah County parole. He drove the van a short distance, struck another vehicle and did more than $1,000 in damage before citizens were able to detain him.
At a Tuesday morning sentencing hearing, Finanders apologized for his crimes and said that he thought treatment for his methamphetamine addiction would help him. His attorney explained that a cocktail of highs contributed to his behavior.
Finanders pled guilty on Nov. 12 to two counts of unauthorized use of a motor vehicle, criminal mischief, first-degree theft and reckless endangering. Clackamas County Circuit Court Judge Jeffrey S. Jones sentenced him to 72 months in prison.
In plea negotiations, Clackamas County District Attorneys Office had asked for 90 months while Finanders asked for 50. Saying that Finanders would need 36 months on each case to complete a drug-recovery program, Judge Jones allowed other charges to be dismissed, including disorderly conduct, reckless driving and possession of a stolen vehicle.
Finanders began his criminal history in the 1980s, then he racked up Multnomah County robbery convictions in the 90s and assault/attempting to elude police convictions in the 2000s.