Southeast pot-store theft ends with car into tree
What started as theft from cannabis retailer – "La Mota Southeast", on S.E. 52nd Avenue near Henderson Street – ended in the front yard of Brentwood-Darlington neighbor just before noon on Sunday, October 14.
The store's manager later told told THE BEE she'd been off the premises, getting change for the store, when she got a call from a co-worker telling her of the incident, and he said that she would be sharing their video security footage with the police.
"Officers responded to the store on a report of a theft in progress," confirmed Portland Police spokesperson Officer Sgt. Chris Burley.
The suspects' gold four-door Buick took off westbound on S.E. Henderson Street; as the getaway driver saw police units arriving in the area, just as the car arrived where the street dead-ends into 48th Avenue, the driver swerved wide, in an attempt to turn south.
But, traveling at high speed, the Buick failed to make the turn, and crashed through a home's fence – dismembering a Hallowe'en skeleton in the front yard – and crashed with a mighty thud into the trunk of a sturdy tree at the far end of the yard.
The impact activated the Buick's airbags.
"Officers were not in pursuit of the vehicle at the time; [some] of the suspects ran from the vehicle after the crash," Burley told THE BEE.
"It didn't look like there was any effort to stop; the car went full speed into the yard before it crashed into the tree," reported a neighbor, who had been walking a dog along Henderson Street when the car flew past.
The crash's concussion brought neighbors out to the street – some of whom had been in their yards enjoying the sunny fall morning.
One alert neighbor grabbed his cell phone and took a photo of one of the two fleeing male suspects, backpack over his shoulder – an image he shared with THE BEE.
Two juvenile females, reportedly riding in the back seat of the car "got out and stood around, and got really [verbally] nasty with us neighbors who came to see if anyone needed help," a neighbor commented.
As more police units pulled up, the suspect girls started running. "Two of our female officers chased them down on foot, and took them into custody without further incident," an East Precinct officer told us.
After being handcuffed and put into the back of a cruiser, one of the female suspects suddenly developed "really bad medical problems", and demanded to be taken to the hospital – instead of to jail. The other young woman joined her in the ambulance.
"The girls told officers they'd 'just gotten a ride', and didn't know anything. About anything!" a neighbor reported.
The male suspects escaped into the neighborhood, and were not located. "It's not very likely that the suspect photographed by the neighbor is still wearing that bright red jacket," drily observed an officer at the scene.
"A firearm was also recovered from the vehicle; officers forwarded their reports to the District Attorney's Office," Burley said.