(Update: Clackamas man, woman arrested, accused of transporting, hiding guns)
Truck got stuck on butte; two related suspects arrested Wednesday
PRINEVILLE, Ore. (KTVZ) – A Clackamas County man being pursued by Crook County sheriff’s deputies got a stolen pickup truck stuck on a large butte southeast of Prineville, got out and ran Tuesday afternoon but was arrested after a brief struggle, authorities said.
A woman driving another vehicle is still being sought.
A sheriff’s sergeant spotted a Ford Mustang and Ford F-350 pickup truck whose drivers were “exhibiting indications of criminal behavior” shortly before 2 p.m. Tuesday as they headed south on Southeast Juniper Canyon Road, Sgt. Jacob Childers said.
The two vehicles quickly pulled in behind a business, Childers said. The pickup driver was identified as Joshua Mathes, 37, and Mustang driver as a 42-year-old woman, also of Clackamas County.
The sergeant learned the Texas license plates on the pickup belonged to a VW sedan, while the Mustang had no license plates or temporary registration visible. Childers said the sergeant tried to contact both drivers, but Mathes sped away, heading north on Juniper Canyon Road toward Prineville. Before pursuing the pickup, the sergeant ordered the woman to remain at the scene, Childers said.
Mathes hit speeds of about 80-90 mph as he headed toward Prineville. Several other sheriff’s deputies and Prineville police responded to assist.
As Mathes neared the intersection of Juniper Canyon Road and Paulina Highway, he left the road and drove through several farms and ranches, damaging several fences in his bid to escape, Childers said.
Mathes eventually tried to drive the pickup up a large butte, but the truck became disabled and he fled, but was quickly found and taken into custody, the sergeant said.
Deputies learned the truck was stolen out of Portland, Childers said.
Mathes, a convicted felon, also was found to possess three firearms, two of which were reported stolen, a “significant amount of ammunition, a large amount of cash, methamphetamine and stolen tools,” the sergeant said in a news release.
Mathes was booked into the county jail on numerous charges, including reckless driving, reckless endangering several counts of second-degree criminal mischief, attempting to elude in a vehicle and on foot, several counts of felon in possession of a firearm and first-degree theft, resisting arrest and a probation violation out of Clackamas County. His bail totaled $270,000.
The sheriff’s office was assisted at the scene by the Prineville Police Department, Crook County Fire and Rescue and STAR Towing.
Earlier this year, Mathes was arrested after leading Clackamas County deputies on a snowy pursuit near Colton, KPTV reported.
Later Wednesday, Childers said deputies had made a traffic stop around noon and located the woman and another Clackamas man, both charged with several counts of felon in possession of a firearm, improper transfer of a firearm and tampering with evidence, along with other charges.
The man and woman allegedly transported stolen firearms from Clackamas County and hid them at a property off Southeast Davis Loop, to keep them from being found during a Clackamas County Sheriff’s Office raid earlier this month.
All of the guns have been recovered, Childers said, adding that there is no indication any other people were involved.