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California Men Arrested For Theft At Lincoln City Outlets


On the afternoon of Saturday, March 2, 2024, Lincoln City Police Department received a call from a concerned citizen regarding suspicious activity at the Lincoln City Outlets. The caller noticed several occupants of a minivan making multiple trips into the Outlets with empty retail bags and returning with full bags over a short period of time, as well as changing their own clothing between trips. Officers recognized this as being consistent with several recently reported instances of Organized Retail Theft with matching descriptions of the suspects involved.


Multiple Lincoln City Police Officers responded and began investigating. Inside the minivan, Officers located 45-year-old Joel Duarte Pena, and 46-year-old Juan Carlos Espejo, both of Los Angeles, California, and began speaking with the men, one of whom provided a false name. After being Mirandized, Duarte Pena attempted to flee the scene, running back into the Outlets with an Officer in pursuit.


An off-duty Hood River Sheriff’s Deputy assisted the Officer with taking Duarte Pena into custody, and both he and Espejo were transported and lodged at the Lincoln County Jail on numerous charges. Two additional suspects remain at large, but are not believed to be in the area. In the following days, the Lincoln City Police Department seized and searched the minivan under a search warrant and recovered approximately $6000 of stolen retail merchandise. The investigation is ongoing and more charges are expected to follow.

The Lincoln City Police Department extends its gratitude to the Hood River Sheriff’s Office for their assistance.


Additionally, and most importantly the Lincoln City Police Department depends on the eyes and ears of the public to report suspicious activity. Property crimes affect the law-abiding public through increased costs for consumers, and can influence where businesses decide to locate. Lincoln City Police rely on their partnership with the public to deter crime in the community, and appreciate the trust and support.




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