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Crooks circulating a list of things they want stolen? And other crooks doing the 'shopping'?

DAVID F. ASHTON - Police saw the man who drove this Washington-licensed pickup truck loading stolen building materials into the back, and trying unsuccessfully to flee the area.  Neighbors in the Foster-Powell neighborhood near the intersection of S.E. 64th Avenue and Rhone Street thought activity in the alley behind a house under construction there looked odd, on the morning of March 5.

More than one person called the 9-1-1 Center, dispatching a "Theft-Priority" call to East Precinct officers at 7:23 a.m. that morning.

"As I was coming on-duty this morning, driving to this district from East Precinct, I took the dispatch about a 'sketchy' looking guy, loading building materials into a truck, before workers were at the site," a PPB officer recalled.

In this neighborhood, a paved alley runs behind the lots, and the officer told THE BEE she spotted the suspect, and drove closer to him.

"He got into the truck, drove north in the alley to S.E. Powell, turned east, and then south on 64th Avenue where I 'lit him up' [turned on overhead lights] and he stopped – and bailed out," the officer said.

A police K-9 team tracked the suspect for some distance before they lost him, as he leaped over fences and cut through backyards.

"What was interesting," the officer said, "was when searching the truck, we found a notebook listing various sites and materials that would appear to be a 'shopping list for thieving'," she said.

And, the Washington license plates on the truck did not come up as stolen. "Many times, we've found, criminals buy cheap old vehicles from Craigslist or other sources, pay cash, and then don't register the vehicle in their name; if they're caught, the vehicle can't be traced back to them."

Although workers at the building site declined to be interviewed, they did say they were grateful for watchful neighbors, and for rapid police action that helped them recover their building materials and tools.

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