Stolen Sellwood vehicles lead to Westmoreland fight - and arrests
When dispatchers sent Central Precinct officers to respond to a routine "Disturbance – Priority" call at Westmoreland's Union Manor, at 3:27 p.m. on March 23, four officers responded to the entrance of the property.
Portland Police spokesman Sgt. Kevin Allen, looking into the incident for THE BEE, reported that, "There is much more to this story than a minor disturbance."
The story actually began at 6:40 a.m. that morning, about two miles south, when officers were dispatched to "The Car Lot" – a car dealership just north of the Sellwood Les Schwab store, in the 8040 block of S.E. McLoughlin Boulevard at Tacoma Street.
"The gate of the car lot was destroyed by a suspect stealing a car – a Black 2014 VW Jetta – from the secured lot," Allen said. "The suspect then stole a White 2020 Chevrolet Silverado Pickup from the lot, also." A bit later, an officer doing the follow-up investigation found the stolen VW Jetta near Oaks Amusement Park – and arrested a man in the passenger seat. 54-year-old Gary Allen Spencer was booked into the Multnomah County Detention Center (MCDC) at 3:17 p.m. that afternoon on multiple charges – including the Felonies of Possession of a Stolen Motor Vehicle, and being a Fugitive; and the Misdemeanors of Possession of Cocaine, Possession of Methamphetamine – and two counts of Furnishing False Information to a Police Officer.
However, without even being required to post any bail, Spencer was released from custody by a friendly judge on March 25. Release Reason: Court Ordered Release.
Tussle over stolen pickup truck
As the officer set about trying to find the stolen Chevy pickup truck, the "Disturbance" call came out – the one that originally alerted THE BEE to this incident. The report concerned people fighting near S.E. 23rd Avenue and Tolman Street, near Westmoreland's Union Manor. Actually, the truck's owner had found and was trying to recover his vehicle.
"The officer developed 'probable cause' to arrest another suspect in this case, the one that was fighting the pickup truck's owner," Allen recounted. "That man ran off, but officers found him up a tree nearby, where he had climbed to hide."
Officers arrested 22-year-old Eric Sergey Sainsus; he was booked into the MCDC at 5:38 p.m. that evening on seven Felony charges, including breaking into the car dealership, theft of the two vehicles – and also a warrant for a "County Hold".
However, the "County Hold" warrant and Felony charges non withstanding, Sainsus was also released back into the community by a friendly judge the next morning, March 24. Release Reason: Released on Own Recognizance.
Wrapping up the police incident report for THE BEE, Sgt. Allen added, "It's worth noting that the officer worked this case for nearly his entire shift, and was able to solve it through perseverance and dedication."
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