All those police near McLoughlin in Westmoreland and Sellwood weren't celebrating St. Pat's

ERIC NORBERG - In the 2 p.m. hour of March 16 there was a heavy police presence in the vicinity of the Bybee Bridge along McLoughlin Boulevard, on both sides of the highway, as police sought two car-theft suspects - with the police presence extending two miles from S.E. Nehalem to S.E. Harold. When the driver of a reported-stolen car failed to yield the right of way, on Saturday afternoon, March 16, Portland Police Bureau (PPB) Central Precinct officers went on the hunt for the vehicle.

When officers spotted the car near 2100 S.E. Nehalem Street, a block west of the south end of Westmoreland Park, its two occupants took off running eastward, past Sckavone Stadium and across S.E. McLoughlin Boulevard – and either continued east into the Eastmoreland Golf Course, or north in the brush along the east side of S.E. McLoughlin.

ERIC NORBERG - The police hunt for the two suspects briefly caused TriMet to stop the MAX Orange Line service at the Bybee Boulevard Station; the delay in trains reached 25 minutes briefly, before service resumed. Overhead, the Bybee Bridge was briefly closed as well. Soon the Bybee Bridge overpass was closed by officers looking for the suspects in the area; Tri-Met cooperated by stopping the MAX Orange Line service temporarily, until officers cleared the Bybee Station.

"After the two men ran from the car, a PPB K-9 Team tracked them to near S.E. McLoughlin Boulevard and Reedway," said PPB Public Information Officer Sgt. Kevin Allen. Officers were stationed in that area as part of the neighborhood-long perimeter.

ERIC NORBERG - When the suspects were tracked by a K-9 team to a point on S.E. McLoughlin and Reedway, officers were stationed nearby to watch for them. This one was standing at the intersection of S.E. 20th Avenue and Harold Street, from where she could monitor Ellis and Reedway to the south, and the Union Pacific access street to the east. "Due to the large area around the golf course, a large number of officers were called in to the area," Allen told THE BEE. "Although officers were not immediately able to locate the suspects, some stayed in the area to continue investigating, and officers will be alerted for future patrols." Anyone with information to contribute should call "Police Non-Emergency" and report it, at 503/823-3333.

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