Man with 25 previous arrests caught asleep in stolen car with stolen guns, deputies say

ALOHA, Ore. -- A Washington County sheriff's deputy found a transient man asleep in a stolen car in the early hours of New Year's Day. When the man woke up, a crazy chase ensued.

Deputies arrested, Zachery Mayes, 32, just after midnight on Wednesday.

He appeared in court Thursday afternoon.

Someone called deputies Tuesday night around 8 p.m. to alert them a man named "Zach" may commit a crime, according to a news release from the Washington County Sheriff's Office. The person said "Zach" was driving a stolen maroon Toyota sedan and also had a stolen rifle.

Just before midnight on New Year's Day, a deputy spotted a Toyota matching the description parked further west on Southwest Farmington Road in Aloha near Marlin Drive.

"The driver's door was open. Obviously, it's suspicious so the deputy went up to the vehicle, saw a person, looked like they were unconscious," said Washington County Sheriff's Office spokesman Sgt. Bob Ray.

A check of the license plate confirmed it was stolen in Washington County, deputies said.

A deputy discovered Mayes, asleep in the car with a rifle wedged between the driver's seat and the lower door sill.

That's when Mayes woke up and sped off, triggering responding deputies to chase him with lights and sirens.

Deputies said after about three blocks, Mayes swerved toward a deputy and then in the opposite direction, crashing into a concrete planter in the front yard of a home in the 19300 block of Southwest Farmington Road.

Then, Mayes ran off but ultimately surrendered to deputies. There were no injuries or damage to any other vehicles during the event.

A deputy found two more stolen rifles inside the car. He also discovered the rifle next to the driver's seat was loaded.

"The disturbing part of this is the three stolen firearms he'd actually stolen out of the trunk of a vehicle not far from where he was located," said Sgt. Ray. "We ask people (to) please don't leave firearms in your vehicle because they may end up the hands of criminals."

Deputies also recovered a laptop, a $1,500 bike and other smaller items they also believe Mayes stole.

Mayes was booked in the Washington County Jail -- the 26th time that's happened in the past 12 years -- on $100,000 bail. He's charged with unauthorized use of a motor vehicle, attempt to elude a police officer, felon in possession of a weapon, reckless driving and possession of methamphetamine.

"There's assault charges. There's weapons charges. There's a lot of thefts. Breaking into vehicles, stealing vehicles. So this type of behavior is no stranger to Mr. Mayes," said Ray.

Deputies are praising the person who tipped them off about Mayes. Sgt. Ray said things could have ended up very differently, perhaps with someone getting hurt or killed, had deputies not gotten him off the street.