An early morning hit-and-run ends in arrest thanks to neighbors video

by: COURTESY PHOTO: FOREST GROVE POLICE DEPARTMENT - This car on Willamina Avenue was totaled early Sunday during a middle-of-the-night rampage by a pickup truck driver who later turned himself in.A Sunday hit-and-run on Willamina Avenue led to thousands of dollars in damage, an uprooted lawn, shaken neighbors, and eventually an arrest.

Jonathan Thuemler, 23, allegedly ran into a parked RV, car and pickup truck after driving through a lawn in a pickup early Sunday morning, Nov. 17.

The car is totaled and the RV was substantially damaged, said Barbara Cameron, owner of the vehicles. Her lawn still shows tire tracks, a Japanese Maple was ripped out and her home was narrowly missed, she said.

Police identified Thuemler’s pickup with help from a neighbor’s surveillance footage, which showed the truck plowing through a front lawn in the 1400 block of Willamina Avenue at 3:09 a.m.

“We’re so fortunate to have that video,” said Captain Mike Herb of the Forest Grove Police Department. “That was key.”

Police found Thuemler’s pickup later that day in the 2500 block of Northwest Sunset Drive in his parents’ driveway. Thuemler turned himself in that evening.

He was arrested and lodged at the Washington County Jail on charges of failure to perform the duties of a driver, reckless driving, criminal mischief, and a probation violation for prior delivery and possession of heroin convictions.

Cameron estimates the accident caused about $30,000 in damage, but is glad it didn’t happen during the day, when two neighbor boys might have been playing outside, she said.

Cameron has lived in her home for 28 years with her husband, and has talked with the police before about the speeding problem on her street.

“I’m sick of people not taking responsibility and being accountable for their actions,” Cameron said. “I’m tired of people not owning up.”

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