A North Plains man is facing multiple charges after he allegedly stole a municipal vehicle, drove it into a field, and then stole another vehicle before Washington County sheriff's deputies tracked him down Friday, Jan. 7.
Benjamin Feigert was booked into the Washington County Jail on charges of first- and second-degree burglary, first-degree aggravated theft, unlawful entry into a motor vehicle, and unlawful use of a motor vehicle.
The Washington County Sheriff's Office said that a vacuum truck — a heavy vehicle with a water tank and a vacuum pump to clean out storm drains and basins — was reported stolen by the North Plains Public Works Department just after 1 a.m. Friday.
According to the Sheriff's Office, a witness called 9-1-1 and reported seeing the truck drive through a gate out of the public works yard. The witness followed the truck to Northwest Mountaindale Road, the report states, and then observed the vehicle leave the road near Northwest Old Pumpkin Ridge Road before apparently getting stuck in a field.
The witness reportedly told dispatchers the driver got out and ran back toward the city of North Plains.
Deputies searched the area, deploying a K-9 unit, but were unable to locate the suspect.
The Sheriff's Office said that before deputies caught up with Feigert, he apparently entered two private vehicles at a residence near North Plains Elementary School and stole one of them, a Ford F-350, after taking the keys from the garage.
A deputy reportedly "came across" Feigert's girlfriend, who said she was searching for him and gave the deputy his name. The girlfriend said Feigert had been walking their dog in the area, according to the Sheriff's Office.
Another deputy reportedly found a German shepherd that had apparently been abandoned at the public works yard. This led the Sheriff's Office to suspect Feigert in the theft of the vacuum truck.
When shown a picture of Feigert, a witness confirmed it was him who had stolen the truck, the Sheriff's Office said.
Feigert was arrested at his home in North Plains. The stolen Ford truck was also recovered at North Plains Community Park, less than a block away from Feigert's residence.
Court records show Feigert has a criminal history in Oregon stretching back to 2012. He was convicted of felony theft, heroin possession and escape charges in 2014. He was also convicted in 2020 for being a felon in possession of a restricted weapon.
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