Forced to steal, a Cedar Hills teen turns in her mom and gets a new bike

Posted by on October 7th, 2016 at 11:45 am

This duo was arrested on multiple charges.
(Photos: Multnomah County Sheriff’s Office)

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.

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Cheryl Evans and a Washington County Sheriff’s deputy with the 13-year-old girl and her new bike.

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 – jonathan@bikeportland.org

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15 Comments
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    John Lascurettes October 7, 2016 at 11:53 am

    Good on her. Weird situation though. “Sorry about your mom going to jail, here’s a bike.”

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      Chris I October 7, 2016 at 12:13 pm

      Yes, let’s hope that the girl is able to live with extended family members, or finds a forever home.

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        Buzz October 7, 2016 at 12:20 pm

        It’s either that or Child Protective Services will place her, possibly somewhere equally as bad as where she’s coming from…

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          rainbike October 7, 2016 at 12:53 pm

          I have been a foster parent and I find your comment offensive. I know the state’s system has it’s issues, but all of the case workers and other foster parents that I met during extensive training were good people, doing their best to protect the kids. If you’re worried about where she might land, perhaps you should consider becoming a foster parent.

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          andrew October 7, 2016 at 2:00 pm

          They may place her in a CPS office; huge shortage of foster families available in this state.

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    Chris October 7, 2016 at 11:54 am

    Right on!

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    Racer X October 7, 2016 at 12:16 pm

    As they often say, …”kids today!”

    Such a tough choice to go against one’s family “business”…not sure if I would have had the same guts at 13.

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      John Lascurettes October 7, 2016 at 1:04 pm

      Yeah, my thoughts too. Even at 13, most kids still view their parents as royalty that must be obeyed at all costs. It was a very bold and strong act for her to have taken.

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    carrythebanner October 7, 2016 at 1:12 pm

    “Evildoing duo” is a questionable choice of words, regardless of the charges. At best it’s hyperbole, at worst it makes it easier to think of the accused as fundamentally corrupted.

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      Zimmerman October 7, 2016 at 1:30 pm

      Thievery is evil, sorry.

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      Jonathan Maus (Publisher/Editor) October 7, 2016 at 1:37 pm

      thanks for the feedback carrythebanner,

      meant no harm but I see how it could be taken that way. my mistake. I’ll think of a different way to say it.

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    Spiffy October 7, 2016 at 1:25 pm

    when the owner of the recovered scooter posted on our facebook scooter club group about raising money for the bike it was easy to kick in some money to help the girl out…

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    Spiffy October 7, 2016 at 1:26 pm

    now that the war on drugs is declining it’s good to see kid’s turning in parents for real crimes against others… damn you Nancy Reagan!

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    B. Carfree October 7, 2016 at 1:35 pm

    I’m impressed with everyone in this story (except for the parents). That’s some awesome behavior on display.

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    andrew October 7, 2016 at 2:04 pm

    Always nice to see the good things in the world reported on. Not that a couple of kleptos are good by any means, but that kid has a good head on her shoulders and Cheryl undoubtedly bought the girl and her brother bikes out of the kindness of her heart.

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