Burglar smashes through Ardenwald storefront to steal safe
In the wee hours of Monday morning, April 13, a heavy-duty Chevy work van was driven into the front of "The Corner Market", at the thee-way intersection of S.E. 32nd Avenue, Tacoma Street, and Johnson Creek Boulevard, in the Ardenwald/Johnson Creek neighborhood.
The damage was no accident.
"The van crashed into the front of the business, and a suspect attempted to steal a safe from the business, but was unsuccessful, and fled the scene," explained a Portland Police Bureau spokesperson. "Officers learned that the driver of a gold-colored Chevrolet pickup truck had been doing surveillance on the business prior to the break-in."
That van, reported stolen from a business in Clackamas County, was later found in Milwaukie, and officers discovered that the same gold Chevrolet pickup truck had been involved in a burglary that resulted in the theft of the white van used in the "Corner Market" break-in.
Further investigation showed that the suspect had likely stolen a total of FIVE white work vans.
On April 21, PPB North Precinct officers found the gold Chevrolet pickup truck in the parking lot of the Econo Lodge Airport Hotel on N.E. Sandy Boulevard near 95th Avenue. Investigators obtained and executed a search warrant, which resulted in the arrest of the suspect. Officers recovered multiple items that were taken in the burglaries.
52-year-old Christopher Aaron Jaha was booked into the Multnomah County Detention Center (MCDC) on April 21 at noon on three counts of Burglary in the Second Degree, six counts of Unauthorized Use of a Motor Vehicle (UUMV), Aggravated Theft in the First Degree, and Possession of a Controlled Substance (methamphetamine).
At his arraignment, he learned he'd be answering for a total of eleven Felony charges, and was assigned a combined bail of $100,000. Additionally, Jaha was charged with Contempt of Court, and also Violating a No-Contact Order from March 30 for Menacing and Harassment, and was assigned an additional bail amount of $25,000.
Despite all that, after reviewing his case, a judge cancelled all of his required bail, and released Jaha back into the community on April 22 at 5:38 p.m. Release reason: "Pretrial Supervision".
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