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Portland Police deploy canine, air support units to chase down bike thief

Posted by on September 17th, 2018 at 11:31 am

Good girl Utzi!
(Photo: PPB)

On Friday evening we learned what great lengths the Portland Police Bureau will go to retrieve a bicycle.

It happened around 6:00 pm in northeast Portland when someone reported that a child’s bike had been taken from the front lawn of a house on the 5500 hundred block of NE Simpson Street.

The suspect was seen walking away with the bike and didn’t stop after several neighborhood kids asked him to return it. Here’s how the ensuing chase unfolded, according to the PPB statement:

Arriving officers obtained the subject description and learned from the family members that the subject might have boarded a TriMet bus with the stolen bike.

Officers were able to locate the correct bus. Officers observed a child’s blue bike matching the victim description, mounted on the bus bike rack. Officers flagged down the bus driver, who confirmed that a male subject matching the suspect’s description was inside the bus.

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As officers attempted to contact the subject, he disobeyed their verbal commands and ran off the bus into the neighborhood. Officers started a foot pursuit of the subject, and then set up a perimeter as they lost a visual of the subject.

With the help of the Portland Police Canine Member “Utzi” and Air Support One, officers were able to locate the subject a few blocks away hiding in thick bushes. They placed the subject into custody without incident.

The suspect was arrested and put in jail and is now facing charges of Theft in the Second Degree and Attempt to Elude on Foot.

As for the bike? It was returned to the girl’s family.

While any dramatic stolen bike rescue is worth sharing here on BikePortland, we still can’t get over the fact that the PPB deployed their Air Support Unit! To track down a bike thief!

— Jonathan Maus: (503) 706-8804, @jonathan_maus on Twitter and jonathan@bikeportland.org

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NOTE: We love your comments and work hard to ensure they are productive, considerate, and welcoming of all perspectives. Disagreements are encouraged, but only if done with tact and respect. If you see a mean or inappropriate comment, please contact us and we'll take a look at it right away. Also, if you comment frequently, please consider holding your thoughts so that others can step forward. Thank you — Jonathan

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CaptainKarma
Guest
CaptainKarma

Bike thieves are the unholy descendents of Satan. But to steal a bike from a kid, reprehensible.

rick
Guest
rick

Thank you Portland Police !

Toby Keith
Guest
Toby Keith

Much like the arrest of Leroy Parsons, this makes me happy.

Jason H
Guest
Jason H

To be fair, they deployed the air unit AFTER recovering the bike, so more about the disobeying Police orders and eluding than the bike theft itself. Cops “strongly dislike” non-compliance, to put it mildly.

But glad they went the extra mile literally to return a child’s cherished bike (saw the TV news story and she was very happy to get it back).

Jordan
Guest

Technically it was an extra aeronautical mile…

9watts
Subscriber

Fortunately they didn’t kill the suspect. Happens a lot these days. Escalation.

Sam Peterson
Guest
Sam Peterson

yay, rah, sis, koom, bah! Boy, that was a great use of my tax dollars.

dwk
Guest
dwk

So if you don’t want tax dollars used to catch thieves who steal from children, what exactly do you think is a good use of tax dollars?

9watts
Subscriber

you didn’t ask me, but my answer would be
– reduce inequality
– stave off climate change
– withdraw subsidies for oil, gas, automobility, war

dwk
Guest
dwk

Oh, OK.
Our police force should ignore theft… Got it.
Thanks

9watts
Subscriber

you didn’t ask what our police should do; you asked how we should spend our tax dollars. I answered the question you asked, not the one you switched to.

dwk
Guest
dwk

I certainly did ask whether tax dollars should be used to catch thieves and your reply did not mention it so I assumed you did not think that local policing to catch criminals who steal (mostly from poor people) was a good use of tax dollars.

Sam Peterson
Guest
Sam Peterson

I am sorry the kid had her bike stolen. I am glad she got her bike back. I am relieved that the suspect get his day in court. I am also upset that it took a K9 and a helicopter to do it. I also do not find giddy joy in the criminals being caught and fantasize about punishing them. I surely do not wish undue violence toward the suspect by police, human or dog. All those things can be true.

Middle of the Road Guy
Guest
Middle of the Road Guy

Personally, I rather enjoy it when criminals get caught.

Sam Peterson
Guest
Sam Peterson

What should happen after the suspected criminals are caught? What should happen when criminals are convicted? What should happen to that criminal after he has paid his debt to society? Would you show up to a public flogging? Would you find that enjoyable?

9watts
Subscriber

Also a fluke, I’d venture.
For every one hundred (one thousand?) reported stolen bikes in this town we get one of these action sequences?

Middle of the Road Guy
Guest
Middle of the Road Guy

I’m kind of sorry the thief did not resist arrest.

PomPilot
Guest
PomPilot

So was K-9 Utzi. 😉

9watts
Subscriber

Did you enjoy the footage from Abu Graib?
You can always watch attack dogs being sicced on water protectors in N Dakota on youtube.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kuZcx2zEo4k

Bike Guy
Guest
Bike Guy

9watts
you didn’t ask me, but my answer would be – reduce inequality – stave off climate change – withdraw subsidies for oil, gas, automobility, warRecommended 3

Yep, these are morally equivalent incidents. (eyeroll)

Your false equivalency dilutes your own arguments. When everything is a humanitarian crisis and incursion into civil liberties, then nothing is. And no one will listen to you when the autocracy truly takes over.

soren
Subscriber

hundreds of thousands of dollars frittered away on a petty theft when portland residents are freezing to death due to being evicted from their housing.

pdx2wheeler
Guest
pdx2wheeler

My concern is for the (potential) child on the other end of this incident. I’d like to see a follow-up to ensure there isn’t a neglected child at the suspect’s home who might need help…, or at a minimum, needs a new bike and safety gear!

B. Carfree
Guest
B. Carfree

I’m impressed. I hadn’t thought of that. My mental image was just someone taking a bike to trade for drugs. It didn’t occur to me that this might be a desperate act to secure the trappings of a more normal childhood for his child.

I wonder if we will be treated to a bit of follow-up that might reveal why this individual stole a child’s bike.