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Pursuit of a stolen vehicle ends in crash that leads to second, unrelated arrest

Call it coincidence, luck or the act of a higher power.BegueCooper

On the morning of July 5, officers from the Newberg-Dundee Police Department responded to a call about a stolen Toyota Land Cruiser. When they located the vehicle, the male suspect engaged officers in a chase through downtown, eventually crashing into an occupied Buick Regal near East Franklin and College streets.

It turns out, the Buick he crashed into was stolen as well, from an unrelated crime reported three weeks prior to the incident. The female driver of that vehicle was found to be under the influence of intoxicants and also arrested by NDPD officers on the scene.

"This was just an episode of unique timing and perhaps some karma if you believe in that sort of thing," said NDPD Public Information Officer Brian Hagen. "Officers were in the right place at the right time to intercept the stolen Land Cruiser, but to have it conclude in the way that it did was very strange. There is a lot of various police experience at NDPD, but none of us have ever heard of an occupied stolen vehicle colliding with an unrelated but separate occupied stolen vehicle."

NDPD arrested the driver of the Land Cruiser — Randy Lee Cooper, 27, of Portland — on charges of unauthorized use of a motor vehicle, attempting to elude police, third-degree assault, reckless driving and other related crimes.

The driver of the Buick Regal was Kristin Nicole Begue, 25, of Newberg. She was subsequently arrested for driving under the influence of intoxicants and unauthorized use of a motor vehicle.

Hagen said the chance encounter is incredibly unlikely due to the low number of car thefts in Newberg and the fact that one pursuit led to two, completely unrelated arrests for similar crimes. That the two stolen cars would collide, he said, is remarkable. It undoubtedly made the jobs of the officers involved easier as they got a two-for-one of sorts out of the incident.

"We are proud of the fact that Newberg is not generally a hot spot for auto theft, so that just makes the odds of this encounter all the more incredible," Hagen said. "Too many criminals who engage in this kind of behavior just have no regard for the safety of the public or for other people's property. There really needs to be more accountability for the risks they subject all of us to."


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