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Suspect in Ashland crime spree arrested in California

A man suspected of an unprovoked knife attack in an Ashland parking lot and a subsequent police chase was captured Wednesday in Northern California.

Thomas Lee Ackley, 34, is in the Siskiyou County Jail and will be extradited to Oregon to face a string of felony charges, including robbery, vehicle theft, criminal mischief and attempted assault, which began with allegations that he tried to stab a man with a knife Tuesday night near the Ashland Safeway, according to a news release from Ashland police.

At about 10 a.m. Tuesday, police say, Ackley allegedly approached a man in the 500 block of Siskiyou Boulevard and without warning tried to stab him. Ackley then fled in a vehicle.

Ashland police — with aid from Talent police, Jackson County Sheriff’s Office and Oregon State Police — spotted Ackley on southbound Interstate 5 near Exit 11, and an Ashland officer rammed the vehicle after Ackley attempted to drive northbound in the southbound lanes of the freeway.

The vehicle took a rural road, according to police, and Ackley allegedly ditched the vehicle, entered private property and stole a pickup truck.

The owner of the truck tried to stop Ackley, who allegedly tried to run over the vehicle owner.

The Siskiyou County Sheriff’s Office arrested Ackley Wednesday on a felony charge of receiving known stolen property worth more than $950, Siskiyou County Jail records show, along with the Oregon charges.

Ackley will be arrested on 20 criminal charges in Oregon, including two counts of first-degree robbery, which is a Measure 11 crime that carries a mandatory minimum 90-month prison sentence.

Oregon court records show no criminal history for Ackley.

Reach web editor Nick Morgan at 541-776-4471 or nmorgan@rosebudmedia.com. Follow him on Twitter @MTCrimeBeat.