An emergency vehicle heads east on Gales Creek Road toward a police scene at Dorman Pond Sunday, January 30, 2022. Photo: Chas Hundley
Several Gales Creek residents noticed police activity near Dorman Pond on Highway 6 on Jan. 30. The Gales Creek Journal obtained a report written by an Oregon State Police trooper who assisted in what started as a suspected vehicle theft in Tillamook and eventually ended in the apprehension of four people near the Highway 6 and 8 junction.
According to the trooper’s report, Tillamook’s city police department located two suspect vehicles, while the OSP trooper was also looking for one of the vehicles in Tillamook.
An attempt to stop the vehicles on Highway 6 near milepost 1 by Tillamook P.D. was unsuccessful; the OSP trooper began following what was now a police pursuit into the coast range on Highway 6, eventually catching up at milepost 15. At this point, the two vehicles were being pursued by a lone Tillamook Police Department officer.
Fleeing at what the OSP trooper described as “moderate speeds,” the two vehicles become a likely danger to the public around milepost 20, and the two agencies in pursuit opted to halt their chase.
“I lost sight of the two vehicles near mile post 21,” the trooper wrote.
About a mile east of Lee’s Camp, one of the vehicles was found abandoned.
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Meanwhile, the Washington County Sheriff’s Office had set up at the summit near the county line, and successfully spiked the remaining vehicle, which nevertheless continued east on Highway 6, making it to Dorman Pond in Gales Creek, where it was located empty.
Hillsboro’s K9 unit was called in, and four suspects were tracked, taken into custody, and after they refused to identify themselves, transported back over the mountains to the Tillamook County Jail to be interviewed and fingerprinted.
The owners of the two vehicles were able to arrange tows for the vehicles, which were apparently stolen.