2 teens arrested for allegedly stealing car using fluid leak hoax in SE Portland

Published: Apr. 9, 2023 at 4:12 PM PDT
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PORTLAND Ore. (KPTV) - Two teenagers were arrested Saturday night after they allegedly stole a car in southeast Portland after tricking the victim into stopping, police said.

Shortly before midnight, police responded to Southeast 67th Avenue and Southeast Woodstock Boulevard after reports of suspects trying to steal cars by flagging down drivers and telling them their vehicles were leaking fluids.

Police said they’ve received reports of this ruse being used numerous times in east Portland to steal cars over the last few months.

Eventually, police received a call that the suspects, later identified as two teenagers, had stolen a woman’s dark green 2014 Chevrolet Cruze. At that point, police said dispatch began sending resources including air support and additional units to the area.

SEE ALSO: Portland police take 3 illegal guns, make 4 arrests

A neighbor living nearby said she heard a commotion.

“I just heard a loud scream and a car take off this way,” she said motioning toward. the street. “And the girl was screaming down that way.”

The neighbor said she’s not sure if it was related to the eventual police chase that followed, “but it’s really scary when you hear screams of a woman and you hear gun shots.”

She said her neighborhood is safe for the most part, but “there’s just different areas of the neighborhood that are not safe.”

SEE ALSO: 13-year-old robbed, stabbed in SW Portland

Meanwhile, the suspects didn’t make it far, as the Chevrolet Cruze was spotted near SE 82nd Ave. and Clinton St., where police say the suspects immediately began evading them.

The stolen car eluded police, but a police aircraft was able to keep track of the vehicle and help police coordinate a perimeter when the suspects ditched the car, they said.

Police said the unit watching from the air saw the suspects force their way into a home inside the parameter.

Units on the ground were able to evacuate the house and then speak with the suspects, police said. The suspects were convinced to surrender and were taken into custody without force, police said.

The two suspects were identified as a 14-year-old boy and 15-year-old boy, both of Portland.

The neighbor said she was stunned at how young the suspects are.

After learning the suspects ages, the neighbor said she fears the two boys could be lost, “and I don’t want children to be lost in this world, and that’s what makes me sad.”

“Whether they’re five or six years old, or 10, 15, they need guidance,” she said. “They were so young. That stuns me.”

SEE ALSO: $10k gear stolen in smash-and-grab from Portland fire vehicle

After the suspects were in custody, police used K9s and aircraft to find evidence they said had been discarded by the suspects. Police said they found three loaded firearms, ammunition and “multiple items linking the suspects to the stolen vehicle.”

The two teenagers were charged with unauthorized use of a motor vehicle, unlawful possession of a loaded firearm, felon in possession of a firearm, felony attempt to elude police, first-degree burglary and reckless endangering.

The 14-year-old boy was also charged with reckless driving.

Police asked anyone with additional information about the case to e-mail crimetips@police.portlandoregon.gov and reference case number 23-91152.

Police used K9 units to search for evidence after the suspects were arrested.
Police used K9 units to search for evidence after the suspects were arrested.(Portland Police Bureau)