PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN 6) – A 45-year-old with 16 previous felony convictions was arrested Monday after allegedly sideswiping a Port of Portland patrol car after skipping out of paying for parking at the airport.
Around 7:35 a.m. Monday, Port of Portland officers were sent to the short- and long-term parking toll booths at PDX, documents showed. A Chevy Avalanche was trying to leave without paying, and officers saw the vehicle jump the curb and leave.
A patrol car positioned to stop it at NE 82nd and Airport Way was sideswiped, authorities said. The officer was not hurt.
An alert witness
About an hour later, someone in the 3600 block of NE 85th Avenue called police.
Dawn Rasmussen saw a Chevy Avalanche without license plates outside her Northeast Portland home. She was working on her computer when she said she saw Thomas playing with a bike and a woman sitting in the truck.
“I just thought something didn’t look right,” she told KOIN 6 News. “They just looked kind of methy.”
Not long after she called the police, she said Thomas rode off on the bike and the woman walked up to her house.
“She asked if it was OK to park in front of my house and no one ever asks that,” Rasmussen said. “Talk about dumb crooks. So I said no and ‘Get off my property, I’ve called the police.'”
When police arrived they found the woman nearby and asked Rasmussen to come and help identify her.
“The police officer I was with, he said, ‘Stay here, don’t move.’ And the guy on the bike happened to ride right past, right into all the cops, and so, of course, they got him.”
The woman was detained, while Thomas was arrested.
Dozens of charges
He was booked in Multnomah County on 16 charges each of identity theft and fraudulent use of a credit card. He’s also been linked to four stolen vehicles and faces charges for those.
Thomas has not been charged for the sideswiping incident, but that case is still pending, authorities said.
Investigators think his crime wave started in March 2015, and included car break-ins and credit card thefts across the Portland metro region.
His previous felony convictions include unlawful use of a motor vehicle, first-degree burglary, second-degree burglary, ID theft, harassment, trespass, and providing false information to police.
There are also five misdemeanors on his record.
Thomas, also known as Don Aden Donaldson, has two pending cases in Multnomah County Circuit Court for unlawful use of a motor vehicle, possession of a stolen motor vehicle, interfering with a peace officer, reckless driving, reckless endangering, possession of meth, and attempt to elude.
KOIN 6 News reporter Amy Frazier contributed to this report.