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Suspect arrested in stolen vehicle spree through Molalla

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Case has been turned over to Marion County Sheriff's Department

PIONEER FILE PHOTO - photo illustration

Update at 4:15 p.m. on May 1:

The case has been turned over to the Marion County Sheriff's Department.

Lt. Chris Baldridge said that Erik Ryan Dahl, who was identified in the press release from Molalla Police Department as a person of interest, is no longer a person of interest in the case, and has now been deemed a victim.

Baldridge said they do have a suspect identified in the case, but are not releasing the name. Baldridge said there are multiple cases involving this individual and all are active investigations at this point.

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One suspect has been arrested after a series of events took place in the Molalla area on April 25, including a vehicle stolen in plain view of its owner that escalated into a high-speed chase into downtown.

Eric Scott Potter, 23, of Washington state, was taken into custody on charges relating to the series of events that transpired Tuesday evening as well as an outstanding felony assault and escape warrant.

Around 1:30 p.m. Tuesday, a 1996 GMC Yukon was reported stolen from a location in Donald, Oregon. A little more than three hours later, the Yukon was involved in a single-vehicle crash in the 36000 block of South Sawtell Road outside Molalla.

According to a press release from Molalla Police Department Chief Rod Lucich, two subjects exited the vehicle and contacted a local resident saying they had crashed their vehicle and that they needed a ride into town. The resident reportedly then gave both subjects a ride to Toad's Market and Gas station at Main Street and Mathias Road in Molalla.

Immediately after being dropped off, police say one subject unlawfully entered a parked pickup truck and proceeded to drive away while the other individual likely fled the scene. The owner of the vehicle was inside the market and ran to try and stop the theft, when a struggle ensued between the owner and the suspect. As a result, the owner was dragged by the vehicle and the truck collided with another vehicle upon leaving the lot.

The stolen truck then headed west on Main Street into town while its owner entered the stricken vehicle along with its owner as they gave chase. The stolen truck then struck a power pole at Main Street and Fenton Avenue, shearing the pole at ground level and causing the loss of power in the area.

The two vehicles then left the area as patrol units from MPD began their search. The victim's vehicle that was hit in the parking lot of Toad's Market and Gas that then pursued was located within minutes, while the truck stolen from the station remained at large.

Then around 5 p.m., a caller notified 911 dispatch that he was with a subject from a crashed Dodge pickup truck in Beavercreek on Mint Lake Road. Lucich said the caller likely stopped after the truck either crashed or ran out of gas to check out what was going on.

That subject turned out to be Potter, and police found him hiding in a nearby yard when they responded to the location.


Conner Williams
Sports Reporter/News Contributor
503-829-2301 ext. 341
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