Portland woman gets car back after police say it was used in high-speed chase

Photo: Clackamas County Sheriff's Office/KPTV

A north Portland woman is coming to terms with the fact that her Toyota Yaris was used as a getaway car in a high-speed car chase.

Police said two men were arrested Sunday night after a chase began in Vancouver, and ended all the way in West Linn.

Kerry Fessenmeyer said it started two weeks ago when her car was stolen.

She was eating at John Street Cafe, when she thinks she dropped her keys on the ground. When Fessenmeyer was finished eating, she said her car was nowhere to be found.

Fast forward to Sunday night, and she received a call from police to come pick up her car. Officers told her it was in a ditch near West Linn on the side of I-205 southbound.

“I feel so bad for my car,” Fessenmeyer said. “It’s terrifying. It’s so scary. Just yeah. Just wondering, 'What are they doing with my car?'”

Vancouver police said Melvin Chargualaf and Robert Legg started their joyride at Safeway, shoplifting from the store around 9 p.m. Sunday night.

Officers were investigating at an apartment complex nearby, when they say the suspects' intentionally rammed an officer’s car with Fessenmeyer’s stolen Toyota.

Officials tell FOX 12 the officer is going to be OK.

Police said the suspects then took off, speeding away across state lines.

“I wish they just didn’t destroy it. Even if they stole it for awhile, they’re gonna get arrested anyway. You’re not gonna win in a high-speed car chase with the cops,” Fessenmeyer said.

The Oregon Department of Transportation’s cameras captured the moment officials threw spike strips onto the freeway, which eventually lead to the suspects' arrests.

Chargualaf is being charged with theft out of Clark County, while Legg - the suspected driver - is being charged with attempting to elude, reckless endangerment and reckless driving.

Fessenmeyer says just because she has her car back, doesn’t mean things are back to normal.

“My car is just covered in cigarette butts and beer all over the sides, and it smells so bad,” she said.

Fessenmeyer found needles, prescription drugs and pounds of trash inside her car.

“They’re not gaining anything. They’re just causing pain,” she said.

Fessenmeyer said it’s the second time she’s recovered a stolen set of wheels. Her bike was also stolen, and then found.

The paranoid feeling, she said, doesn’t go away.

Fessenmeyer is a nanny. She said the suspects got rid of the car seats she had, which is part of her livelihood.

Her car is being repaired and then getting a deep cleaning before she’ll hit the road again.

Copyright 2018 KPTV-KPDX Broadcasting Corporation. All rights reserved.

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