Portland men caught in attempt to steal scrap metal from WL Paper site
Two Portland men were arrested Wednesday afternoon in a suspected attempt to steal scrap metal from the West Linn Paper Company water treatment plant along Willamette Falls Drive.
According to West Linn Police spokesman Jeff Halverson, police stopped at the scene after noticing a car pulled over on the side of the road with a woman sleeping inside. When the woman said she was with her boyfriend, officers entered the paper mill property and saw two men on the site.
"They did an about-face and casually tried to walk away," Halverson said.
At that point, officers called backup units and chased after the men. One was caught running near a pipe and the other was found in a set of bushes.
"He was maybe a foot away from going over the cliff into the water," Halverson said. "I'm thinking drug use may have been involved because he couldn't stay still in the bushes and we saw him."
Jacob Baker, 27, and Najaf Hobbs, 38, were transported to Clackamas County Jail. The woman was cleared of any charges and given a ride to a transit center.
Baker and Hobbs were interviewed by an officer about possible involvement in prior scrap metal thefts at the site, according to Halverson.
"A lot of metal is being stripped from the water treatment and power plants," Halverson said.