Suspect caught near Detroit Lake after 25-mile chase - KPTV - FOX 12

Suspect caught near Detroit Lake after 25-mile chase

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Robert J. Atkinson, age 23 Robert J. Atkinson, age 23
MARION COUNTY, OR (KPTV) -

A police canine helped take down a man with a warrant accused of driving a stolen truck Friday afternoon.

A Marion County Sheriff's Office spokesman says it all started when a Stayton resident reported that his blue Ford F150 pick-up truck was stolen from a parking lot. He had left his keys inside of it during in the noon hour on Friday. 

Minutes later, the brother of the truck owner spotted the truck on Old Mehama Road near Highway 22, and called 911.

A deputy in the area recognized the truck and had turned to perform a traffic stop, but then the suspect revved up and accelerated to a speed too high to pursue without endangering lives.

More deputies and officers then joined in the search effort. 

About an hour later the truck was seen in Mill City. Police from around the area tailed the truck eastbound through Mill City, Lyons and Gates, sometimes at speeds of up to 70 miles per hour. The suspect then turned south and headed toward Monument Peak.

By this time Oregon State troopers joined the chase as they traveled up unmarked, gravel fire roads towards the top of the 5000-foot mountain.

While the truck was still moving, the suspect jumped out.  The truck ran into a tree and stopped.

The suspect ran into the woods. A perimeter was established as a police canine unit was brought to the scene.

Deputy dog "Rolo" soon picked up the suspect's scent.  The suspect was eventually found, hiding face-down in a small cave near a creek. 

The suspect refused to comply with commands to surrender, and Rolo seized him with his jaws by clamping down on the back of his neck.

The suspect, identified as Robert Atkinson, age 23, was arrested at the scene.   While processing evidence, investigators found property in the truck that indicated he had been involved in some thefts.

Atkinson was transported to the Salem Hospital for treatment for the dog bite before being booked into the Marion County Jail on charges that include unlawful use of a motor vehicle, felony and misdemeanor elude, possession of stolen property and an outstanding parole violation warrant from Marion County.

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