Hermiston Man Arrested for 17th Time

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A familiar face returned to the Umatilla County Jail this weekend.

Jeremiah Ayers
Jeremiah Ayers
Jeremiah Ayers, 23, of Hermiston, was arrested for the 17th time on Saturday after he allegedly attempted to steal a vehicle around 5:45 a.m. According to the Hermiston Police Department, the owner of the vehicle spotted Ayers sitting in the vehicle while it was parked in the owner’s driveway.

A search warrant was issued and officers searched Ayers’ residence at 150 N.E. Eighth Place and, according to Hermiston Police Chief Jason Edmiston, “a significant amount of property was seized.”

Ayers was charged with five counts of unlawful use of a motor vehicle, two counts of first-degree theft, three counts of second-degree theft and one count of unlawful possession of hydrocodone, which is a semi-synthetic opioid derived from codeine. Saturday’s arrest was the third time in six weeks that Ayers’ was charged with stealing a vehicle. He was arrested on Aug. 25 as well as July 26. He has faced 63 different charges total during his 17 arrests.

According to Edmiston, there have been 41 reports of stolen vehicles in Hermiston in the first eight months of the year, down from 45 a year ago. Edmiston said, however, that many of those thefts could have been prevented if the vehicle owners had not left their keys in the car. Eighteen of the vehicles – or 44 percent – had the keys in them.

“We could have such tremendous impact . . . if people would be more aware and willing to take all valuable, including keys, out of the vehicle,” Edmiston said.