SPRINGFIELD, Ore. – A man is in jail, accused of leading Springfield officers on a wild chase early Thursday morning in a stolen U-Haul vehicle.
Police spotted the stolen vehicle traveling west on Interstate 105 from Mohawk Boulevard just after 2:45 a.m. Officers attempted to stop the driver near Pioneer Parkway, but the vehicle sped up and a pursuit ensued to the Coburg Road exit where the driver turned around and headed west on the freeway.
Spike strips were used to deflate tires on the vehicle, but it continued north onto the Interstate 5 onramp and spun out, police said. The car then headed south in the northbound lanes of I-5.
A pursuit intervention technique (PIT) that aims to disable a vehicle was then allowed due to concern for oncoming traffic, but the first attempt was unsuccessful. The vehicle was damaged, however.
The driver attempted to get off at the Glenwood exit, but wasn’t able to manage the turn and a second PIT was attempted, causing additional damage to the vehicle.
Police said the driver stopped just south of the exit and ran from police. A police dog assisted with apprehending the suspect.
The suspect has been identified as Jeffrey Deweese, 44, of Roseburg. He was taken to the Lane County Jail on charges of unlawful use of a vehicle, possession of a stolen vehicle, eluding by vehicle, eluding by foot, reckless driving and reckless endangering.
This is the second time in recent months that Deweese has been accused of driving a stolen U-Haul. Court documents show he was charged with multiple counts of unauthorized use of a vehicle in December 2020, along with other alleged crimes.