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St. Helens man arrested for unlawful possession of a weapon, ID theft

No injures reported after confrontation in grocery store parking lot

VanzandtA St. Helens man was arrested Tuesday, May 3, on nine separate charges including unlawful possession of a firearm, resisting arrest, identity theft and forgery after an altercation with law enforcement in the parking lot of the Safeway grocery store in St. Helens.

Jonathan Ray Vanzandt, 35, attempted to use a counterfeit $50 bill at Chubb’s Shell Gas Station on Highway 30 on Tuesday afternoon, when the gas station attendant contacted the St. Helens police.

Law enforcement officers found Vanzandt near the Safeway grocery store after he attempted to use the fake bill. When St. Helens Police Department officers attempted to confront him, Vanzandt ran through the parking lot and threw a handgun onto the ground that had been tucked into his waistband, according to police.

Officers arrested Vanzandt and booked him into the Columbia County Jail. He was charged with two counts of first-degree forgery, one count of second-degree escape, one count of resisting arrest, one count of giving false information, one count of identity theft, one count of possession of a fictitious identification, one count of unlawful possession of a firearm and one count of an ex-convict in possession of a firearm.

Vanzandt was being held on $5,875 bail as of Thursday, May 12.

No shots were fired and no injuries were reported during the incident, said Police Chief Terry Moss.

During the pursuit, an individual found the handgun Vanzandt had thrown and returned it to the police officers, initially thinking the weapon belonged to them, Moss added.