Two suspects in a stolen car that had stolen license plates on it were carrying hundreds of pieces of stolen mail from throughout the Portland metro area, according to police.
A Sherwood police officer patrolling the Safeway store on Southwest Roy Rogers Road spotted two men getting out of a car he described as suspicious.
The officer ran a check of the license plates and learned they had been stolen from a Chrysler PT Cruiser. They were currently on a similar-looking Chevrolet HHR.
The officer determined the two men who were in the car had seen him and possibly ran away, since they did not return to the car.
Officers checked the area and detained the two men, identified as Coty Michael Dingus, 25, of Sherwood, and Corey John Smith, 26, of Milwaukie.
Both suspects were booked into the Washington County Jail on charges of unlawful use of a motor vehicle and third-degree theft. Dingus was also charged with criminal possession of a forged instrument.
Inside the vehicle, police said they found hundreds of pieces of mail believed to have been stolen from mailboxes. Checks, credit cards, recently purchased items and receipts were also found, along with drug paraphernalia and a realistic-looking airsoft pistol.
Police said numerous victims have been identified and filed reports of mail theft, identity theft, forgery, fraudulent use of a credit card, unlawful entry to a motor vehicle, theft and burglary.
The license plates were determined to have been stolen from a car in Milwaukie, according to investigators, while the car was stolen from outside a Dotty's in southeast Portland in October.
Sherwood police have been working with numerous agencies in connection with the investigation, including the United State Postal Service, Portland Police Bureau, Milwaukie Police Department, Clackamas County Sheriff's Office, Gladstone Police Department, Multnomah County Sheriff's Office, Washington County Sheriff's Office, St. Helens Police Department, Scappoose Police Department, Columbia County Sheriff's Office and the Tualatin Police Department.
Anyone with information about this case is asked to contact the non-emergency police line at 503-629-0111.
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