PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) – A man was sentenced to prison on Thursday after eluding police following a string of robberies in Vancouver, Wash. and Portland, according to Multnomah County District Attorney Mike Schmidt.
JJ Ben, 28, was sentenced to 60 months in prison after pleading guilty to second degree robbery with a firearm and felony attempt to elude.
In January, Ben committed a series of robberies in Vancouver before crossing state lines into Oregon, officials said. The Clark Regional Emergency Services Agency alerted Portland law enforcement to look out for Ben in a red Jeep Patriot.
Authorities said moments later, authorities were alerted of a reported robbery near Northeast Martin Luther King Boulevard and Northeast Mason Street.
Ben reportedly drove up to a woman who was walking to her car, officials said — noting she grew concerned and locked her car doors once she got inside. Authorities said Ben got out of his car and tried to open the woman’s driver’s side door before pointing a gun at her and demanding her purse.
The woman handed over her wallet, which was attached to her phone, and later used the Find My Phone app to relay its location to police.
Authorities arrested Ben after finding his Jeep near North Terry Street and North Kerby Avenue where he attempted to elude officers but ended up crashing into another vehicle in the North Lombard Street and North Commercial Avenue intersection.
“Mr. Ben intentionally placed his robbery victims in fear for their lives and recklessly endangered the lives of motorists and pedestrians during his elude. Mr. Ben’s series of robberies came to a swift end thanks to the quick actions of the victim, the Vancouver Police Department, and the Portland Police Bureau,” Deputy District Attorney Eric Palmer said.