A girl riding a stolen bicycle told deputies her mother and another man have been stealing property around the metro area and even directed her to steal from apartment complexes.
Deputies responded to reports of a 13-year-old girl riding a suspicious bicycle in the Cedar Hills area Saturday night.
The girl told deputies that her mother had been stealing property around the metro area with the help of a man.
The girl also said that her mother had directed her to help steal from numerous apartment complexes and drop-off locations. The bicycle she was riding was determined to have been stolen from an apartment complex in Aloha and given to the girl by her mother.
The girl's mother was identified by investigators as 33-year-old Lara Kent of Beaverton. The second suspect is 37-year-old Jack Harman Jr. of Portland.
Deputies said Kent and Harman had been storing stolen property in a U-Haul van in Tualatin and a storage unit in Aloha.
Detectives located and searched the van Sunday. Investigators said they located a stolen electric scooter in the van, as well as 10 bicycles and other stolen property.
The following day, more stolen items were recovered from the storage unit in Aloha., according to deputies
Deputies located Kent and Harman on Monday. Investigators seized more than 70 items from inside their vehicle, including jewelry, checks, mail, license plates and retail clothing.
All the items are believed to be stolen, according to detectives.
Kent and Harman were arrested on charges of unauthorized use of a motor vehicle and second-degree theft. Kent faces an additional charge of second-degree criminal mischief. Deputies said more charges are likely to follow as the investigation continues.
The stolen scooter was returned to its rightful owner, 37-year-old Cheryl Evans of Portland. When Evans heard about the circumstances of this case, she told deputies she wanted to buy a bicycle for the girl, since the stolen bike she was riding was seized.
Evans told deputies she had a difficult childhood and understands doing the right thing can sometimes be difficult, especially when family is involved.
Washington County deputies joined Evans in taking the girl and her younger brother to the store to pick out a new bicycle for each of them. Evans covered the cost of the bikes and locks with her own money and donations from friends.
"We would like to thank Ms. Evans and the 13-year-old girl for demonstrating the Washington County Sheriff's Office core values: do your best, do the right thing, and treat others the way you want to be treated," according to a statement from the sheriff's office.
Copyright 2016 KPTV-KPDX Broadcasting Corporation. All rights reserved.