Driver of Stolen U-Haul Leads OSP On Chase

The driver of a stolen U-Haul van crashed into other vehicles, including a patrol car, while leading police on a chase near Salem Sunday afternoon.

Drivers called 911 to report a U-Haul van was driving recklessly on I-5 North in the Albany area When an Oregon State Trooper tried to stop the van, the driver started a pursuit with police, continuing North on I-5. 

Because of heavy traffic, the trooper stopped pursuing the U-Haul and asked OSP in Salem to locate it. A short time later, police found out the van had been stolen.

OSP in Salem spotted the U-Haul as it continued to drive reckless on I-5 North and got off the exit at Market Street. 

Troopers followed the U-Haul to the Fred Meyer fuel station on Market and Landcaster in Salem. Police tried to block it, but the driver pulled out and crashed with two vehicles, becoming temporarily wedged between the two vehicles. 

As a trooper tried to block the van from the rear, the driver rammed the patrol car and other vehicles, then got back onto I-5 North. 

As OSP continued to chase the U-Haul, the driver eventually pulled to the side of the interstate and stopped.

Police say the driver, 38-year-old Jose Flores, was taken into custody without further incident.

Flores was taken to the Marion County Jail an is facing charges of Unauthorized Use of a Motor Vehicle, Unauthorized Entry into a Motor Vehicle, Possession of a Stolen Vehicle, Fail to Yield to an Emergency Vehicle, Failure to Obey a Police Officer, Attempted Assault on a Police Officer, Failure to Perform Duties of a Driver, Mail Theft, Reckless Driving, Reckless Endangering, Attempt to Elude - Vehicle, and False Information to a Police Officer.

Other pending charges may be referred to the Marion County District Attorney's Office.

Troopers learned that the U-Haul van was stolen from the Seattle area earlier in the day while it was being used to deliver Amazon packages.

It was confirmed that the back of the U-Haul was filled with mail parcels from Amazon. Anyone in the Seattle area that is missing or did not received their scheduled delivery from Amazon should call the Oregon State Police Dispatch Center at 1-503-375-3555 and reference OSP Case Number SP19-032026.

No injuries were reported from other drivers, law enforcement or Flores.

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