We’ve covered many bike theft stories over the years; but we’ve never heard of anything quite like what we learned from the Washington County Sheriff’s Office this morning.
A 13-year-old girl in Cedar Hills (seven miles west of Portland) called the police to report a bicycle that she suspected was stolen. The amazing thing is that the bike was given to her by her mother and she told the responding officer it was probably stolen. She was right. She also disclosed that her mom had forced her to steal all sorts of things from apartment complexes and donation drop-off locations.
Deputies investigated and found out that the girl’s mom — 33-year-old Beaverton resident Lara Kent and her partner, 37-year-Jack Harman Jr. from Portland — had a U-haul van and a storage unit stuffed with stolen goods. They tracked down the van and the storage unit and ultimately arrested the duo.
Among the 70 stolen items recovered were jewelry, checks, mail, license plates, new clothing, 10 bicycles and one electric scooter that belonged to Portlander Cheryl Evans.
When Evans showed up to recover her scooter, she heard how the young girl was caught up with criminals and was put into this terrible situation. “After hearing of the circumstances,” reads a statement from the Sheriff’s office, “Ms. Evans told deputies she wanted to purchase the girl a bicycle since she no longer had one. Ms. Evans cited she came from a difficult childhood and understands doing the right thing can sometimes be difficult, especially when family is involved.”
Yesterday the investigating deputies, Ms. Evans, and the girl went to the store and picked out a brand new bike. Thanks to her own generosity and some donations from friends, Evans bought her and younger brother a bike. And of course two strong u-locks.
We loved the last line of the Sheriff’s office statement: “We would like to thank Ms. Evans and the 13-year-old girl for demonstrating the Washington County Sheriff’s Office core values: do your best, do the right thing, and treat others the way you want to be treated.”
— Jonathan Maus, (503) 706-8804 – firstname.lastname@example.org