Extensive thefts linked to Hubbard
Hubbard Police reported that a local storage facility has been the focal point of a cargo-theft operation spanning three states and involving more than $250,000 in merchandise.
Police were initially tipped off on July 17 when someone told them a stolen tractor trailer located by a GPS was at the facility. Upon investigation, police surprised three men at the site who were unloading stolen goods from a stolen trailer, according to HPD Sgt. Chris Anderson.
All three men fled after being confronted; one was captured and taken into custody. Clackamas County Sheriff's Office, Canby Police Department and Woodburn Police Department also responded to the scene, but were unable to locate the at-large suspects.
Anderson said police initially recovered about $116,000 in stolen property. He said further investigation revealed that the suspects were moving a variety of stolen merchandise from additional cargo thefts, including high-end bicycle parts and frames, car seats, display cases, and toiletry products taken from various retailers.
Through interviews with the suspect in custody, HPD discovered a vast cargo theft ring operating across Washington, Oregon and California.
"The suspects would go up to cities surrounding the SEATAC (airport) area in Washington and steal a tractor in one location," Anderson noted. "They would take the stolen trailer and head to another location to steal a cargo trailer filled with merchandise. They would then drive the stolen tractor/trailer across state lines using the I-5 corridor to Hubbard.
"They would unload the merchandise at a storage facility in Hubbard and then have a third party pick it up at the storage unit to transport it to various locations in California where it would then be sold," he added.
HPD said surveillance footage at the Hubbard storage unit over the past few months links the suspects to no fewer than four additional thefts. The investigation revealed additional suspects, including one assisting from outside the US.
Working in conjunction with other law-enforcement agencies in Washington and Oregon, HPD resolved multiple theft cases, and officers have notified victims and businesses affected and returned more than $250,000 worth of merchandise to date.
"It was a far reaching investigation that began in Hubbard and ultimately involved multiple jurisdictions," Anderson said. "Our investigation finally came to its logical conclusion and we passed what we had on to much larger agencies in Washington and California."
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