Car theft in St. Helens leads to interstate pursuit
A man was arrested Sunday, June 30, after allegedly attempting to elude multiple law enforcement agencies in a pickup truck that was stolen in St. Helens earlier in the day.
Gregorio Ivan Lanya, 35, was taken into custody on multiple charges in connection with the alleged theft and motor vehicle chase that ensued over the weekend.
Some police reports indicate Lanya lived in Kelso, Washington, while court records show his residence is in Beaverton.
The St. Helens Police Department responded around 10:50 a.m. Sunday when a 2013 Ford F-150 pickup truck was reported stolen out of the parking lot of Ace Hardware.
St. Helens Sgt. Jose Castilleja said the owner of the truck left it unlocked when he went into the store. A short time later, the owner saw someone backing the truck out of the parking lot and then went to confront the person, Castilleja said.
The owner attempted to jump into the open driver's side window while the truck was moving, but fell off when the suspect drove behind Walgreens on Highway 30 before turning on Sykes Road. The driver suffered an injured ankle following the incident, the family reported on social media.
Law enforcement shortly afterward received a report that someone was attempting to steal a vehicle from a home in Scappoose. Ultimately, however, officers with SHPD, Scappoose and the Columbia County Sheriff's Office were unable to locate the vehicle or suspect.
Several hours later, law enforcement officers in Ridgefield, Washington, received a report of an attempted car theft. When Ridgefield police officers responded, they located Lanya and attempted to arrest him. He fled from authorities on foot, however, before using the stolen Ford truck to again elude officers.
Lanya then travelled northbound on I-5 using all three lanes and traveling at speeds more than 100 mph, a press release states.
A deputy with the Cowlitz County Sheriff's Office attempted to stop the vehicle, but Lanya successfully cross back into Oregon using the Lewis and Clark Bridge in Longview, Washington. Once in Oregon, he continued westbound onto Highway 30 and forced eastbound vehicles off the road. Rainier Police Department also joined the pursuit, which eventually ended in Clatskanie where the F-150 truck collided with a Cowlitz County patrol vehicle and was surrounded by multiple law enforcement. When Lanya attempted to flee the truck, offers deployed a Taser and used a K-9 unit to take him into custody.
Columbia County Sheriff's Office deputies transported Lanya to the hospital briefly for treatment of minor injuries before he was booked in the Columbia County Jail, Castilleja stated.
Lanya was arraigned on multiple charges Monday, including attempting to elude police, unauthorized use of a vehicle, robbery in the third degree and assault in the fourth degree. Court records indicate bail was set at $55,000.
The Cowlitz County Sheriff's Office is expected to file additional charges for attempting to elude a law enforcement officer, possession of stolen vehicle, second degree assault, hit and run, and resisting arrest.
One Cowlitz County deputy was cut by broken glass and required sutures after the incident, the press release added.
SHPD reminds motorists not to leave vehicles running while unattended and to always lock all doors and roll up windows.
In January, SHPD and Scappoose Police Department officers responded to another call where a suspect stole a vehicle that had been left running with the keys inside. The vehicle was stolen and the suspect ultimately crashed it into Scappoose city property.