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The traffic stop was innocuous, but maybe the driver had a guity conscience. And something bad in the trunk..?

DAVID F. ASHTON - Portland Police patrol cars blocked in this Mercury sedan when the refused to stop over a license plate issue - and then ran off. Whatever officers then found in the trunk has led them to keep the investigation open while they look for the missing driver. At first, it was unclear just why a silver Mercury sedan was stopped by East Precinct officers – and boxed in! – at the Space Age gas station parking lot on S.E. Duke Street, just west of 52nd Avenue, at about 9 p.m. on Saturday evening, February 20.

But it led to a search that started at that location, and included not only the Brentwood-Darlington neighborhood but also Woodstock. Six patrol cars were stationed along neighborhood streets west and north of that location for a considerable time afterward.

Officers searched the car; its trunk lid was open, with bags of something on the ground behind the car.

"This incident started as a 'traffic stop' for a license violation," Portland Police spokesperson Sergeant Kevin Allen was later able to tell us. "But the driver ran off, and was the subject of an area search which included a PPB K9 team."

A passenger did stay in the car, Allen told THE BEE, and he was not charged. "The driver was not located at the time; however officers are still investigating, and he may be arrested at a later time," Allen said. It appears that he's known to the police.

What was found in the bags in the truck was not disclosed, but apparently it's part of the ongoing case.


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