Police: Woman carjacked newspaper carrier

SPRINGFIELD, Ore. - As Kathleen Commander delivered Saturday's edition of The Register-Guard newspaper just after 4 a.m., a woman approached her and asked for a cigarette.

Commander said she didn't smoke.

The woman asked for a ride to a nearby bar.

Commander said she couldn't give her a ride while delivering papers.

The woman opened the passenger door of Commander's dark green 1995 Buick 2-door coupe, removed some newspapers and climbed in.

Commander shut off the engine and got out of the car - and the stranger came after her, punching her in the face.

At that point, Commander ran inside a nearby business for help. Police arrived on scene and found Commander with her right cheek red and swollen.

The car was gone.

But not for long.

Just after 8 a.m. - a litte over 4 hours and 100 miles from where it was stolen - a state trooper spotted the Buick, now the subject of a report of fuel theft in Chemult, Oregon.

The car sped off south on Highway 97 at 100 mph. As the trooper gave chase, law enforcement in Klamath Falls deployed spike strips and brought the car to a halt after 25 miles.

Officers took Jennifer B. Jones, 28, into custody at gunpoint, Oregon State Police said, and booked her into the Klamath County Jail.

Sgt. Jones - no relation - said Jones has an extensive arrest record with both Springfield and Eugene police. He expects that record to get a little longer after Saturday's carjacking.

As for Commander, subscribers on her route likely didn't notice anything was amiss. After being assaulted and robbed, Commander got a ride and some more copies of Saturday's edition and finished delivering her paper route.

She went to Klamath Falls on Monday to retrieve her car, which she bought last July and considers a classic because they aren't made anymore.