Car theft, chase spans from Salem to Tualatin
A multi-county police pursuit of a stolen vehicle ended in Tualatin shortly before 7 p.m. on Thursday, March 14.
The vehicles owner reported the theft of her 1996 grey Honda sedan to Salem Police that morning. She called 911 just after 6 p.m. when she saw her car being driven on Silverton Road in Salem.
Working with Marion County deputies, Salem Police officers searched the surrounding area until senior deputy Jerry Wollenschlaeger spotted the stolen vehicle as it pulled onto Interstate-5 northbound. Oregon State Police then coordinated pursuit efforts with officers from Woodburn, the Clackamas County Sherriffs Office and the Tualatin Police Department as the suspects drove through a number of police jurisdictions, at speeds of up to 100 miles per hour.
Law enforcement officials pursued the stolen vehicle through moderate traffic after determining they would not be placing other motorists in undue danger. Police reported the pursuit did not cause any property damage or injury to members of the public.
Tualatin police were able to slow the vehicle by laying out spike strips to puncture the cars tires. The suspects were forced to pull off on the Nyberg Road exit in Tualatin, where the car with two deflated tires came to a complete stop.
At that point, officers arrested the driver, Jesse Plata Jr., 22. He was charged with unlawful use of a motor vehicle, eluding police and reckless driving. There was also a warrant out for his arrest due to a parole violation.
Platas passenger, Norberto J. Martinez, 18, was also arrested and charged with unlawful use of a motor vehicle. He was also wanted on a probation violation warrant for previously testing positive for methamphetamine use.
Both Plata and Martinez were taken into custody without incident and lodged at the Marion County jail. According to Marion County Correctional Facility records, bail was denied to Plata and Martinez, and both men remained in custody as of press time.
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