Hermiston man allegedly steals utility vehicle, drives through front of store

<p>A man drove a stolen Kubota utility vehicle through the front doors of Buttercreek Equipment early Tuesday morning. The suspect, Logan J. Blair, was later apprehended by Hermiston Police.</p>

Hermiston Police have arrested a man for allegedly stealing a utility vehicle, driving it through the front of the business and taking it on a joyride southbound on HIghway 395.

Police have arrested Logan J. Blair, 22, on the following charges: two coutns of attempted assault in the third degree, unlawful use of a motor vehicle, burglary in the second-degree, criminal mischief in the first-degree, resisting arrest, attempted escape in the first degree and escape in the second degree.

At appoximately 5:35 a.m., employees of the Horizon Project contacted the Hermiston Police Department to report Blair was missing from the confines of the house. Employees reported Blair was under court-ordered supervision, although no documentation could be provided to substantiate that order at that time.

At 6:28 a.m., Louis Hanson, owner of Buttercreek Equipment, 2110 S. Highway 395, called police to report a male broke into his business, stole a brand new Kubota RTV, drove the large vehicle through the front of his business and escaped southbound on Highway 395.  

Responding officers located the RTV and the driver, later identified as Blair, in the area of South Highway 395 and Feedville Road. Upon trying to contact the driver, two Hermiston Police Department vehicles sustained significant front-end damage as a result of impact with the RTV.

Police were already familiar with Blair; he had just been arrested May 25 after allegedly breaking the window out at the Shell Station at 1655 N. First St. Blair was charged with attempted second-degree burglary and third-degree criminal mischief in that case.

Calling Blair a "significant threat," the HPD the Umatilla County District Attorney’s Office is expected to present the case before a grand jury today.

“It is not my intent to point fingers and place blame, but this is a prime example of a threat to society that could have been avoided with proper treatment if in fact Mr. Blair suffers from a mental health ailment," Police Chief Jason Edmiston said. "Instead, we have a business owner subjected to thousands of dollars in loss and city-owned police vehicles with significant damage likely to reach several thousand dollars.”

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