A man in the Bayfront area of Newport, who watched a stranger drive off with his car this morning, got on the phone to 9-1-1 and reported his car’s description and direction of travel as it sped off. About 15 minutes later an alert OSP trooper spotted the Honda CRV headed south on Highway 101 near Ona Beach. The trooper whipped his car around and took off after it.
The trooper activated his overhead lights and siren, but the thief increased his speed and, according to the OSP, drove very aggressively and passed other vehicles in no passing zones. Several miles ahead of the pursuit Lincoln County Deputy Sheriff Barry Brewster deployed spike strips. When the CRV roared by and over the spikes, three of the car’s tires immediately went flat. A mile later the car was stopped, and an OSP trooper and a sheriff’s deputy arrested the driver.
He was identified as Joseph Vinson, 26, from Newport. He was immediately returned to Newport and booked into the Lincoln County Jail on charges of auto theft, attempting to elude officers and reckless driving. He was also cited for driving on a suspended license and on a felony warrant for violation of probation.
The vehicle was returned immediately to its owner. As part of his sentencing, Vinson will be ordered to repay the victim the cost of new tires.