On the afternoon of 09/19/21, WVCC dispatch broadcast an Attempt to Locate (ATL) for a stolen vehicle which was stolen within the past hour from Lincoln City – a gray 2003 Ford F-250. The vehicle was reported to have a white laundry machine in the bed. At 2:53 PM, Lincoln County Sheriff's Sgt. Dunteman located the vehicle driving southbound on Highway 101 near Best Western Agate Beach in Newport. Sgt. Dunteman radioed nearby Lincoln County Sheriff’s Office and Newport Police Department units and did not attempt a traffic stop at that time. Deputies attempted to stop the vehicle as it turned onto NW 25th St. and into Walmart. The driver of the truck did a loop through the Walmart parking lot and led deputies and officers on a pursuit southbound through Newport.
At the time, deputies did not realize there was another stolen vehicle in caravan with the driver of the stolen truck. The additional vehicle being pursued was a dark blue 2000 Ford F-250 reported stolen out of Salem on 09/18/21. Deputy Tugwell set Stop Sticks at the intersection of Highway 101 / Olive St in Newport. The dark blue F-250, which was the primary eluding vehicle, hit the Stop Sticks which disabled the truck shortly thereafter. The gray F-250 avoided the Stop Sticks and both vehicles continued South. Several Newport Police Officers and Lincoln County Sheriff’s Deputies were involved in the pursuit.
Both stolen trucks crossed the Yaquina Bay Bridge at high rates of speed. NPD Officers came upon the dark blue F-250 stopped and abandoned in the middle of S Coast Highway adjacent to Newport Toyota. The dark blue F-250 sustained front driver side tire damage due to Stop Stick deployment, rendering it inoperable. The driver of the disabled dark blue F-250 was picked up by the driver of the gray F-250 which continued South on S Coast Highway at speeds ranging from 80-100 MPH.
NPD officers who remained on scene with the dark blue F-250 advised there was a copious amount of ammunition inside and warned pursuing units that the suspect(s) may be armed. The pursuit continued South on Highway 101 where NPD units terminated the pursuit due to excessive speed and reckless driving into oncoming traffic. At that time, there was moderate to heavy traffic flowing both directions through South Beach. After NPD terminated their involvement in the pursuit, LCSO assumed the pursuit and continued the pursuit southbound through South Beach. The gray F-250 was passing southbound traffic at approximately 80-100 MPH in the oncoming lanes causing both directions of traffic to take evasive maneuvers to avoid a crash.
After leaving Newport (South Beach) city limits, traffic lightened up and speeds remained at approximately 90-100 MPH as the pursuit continued into the Ona Beach Curves proximate to N Beaver Creek Rd in Seal Rock. Through Seal Rock, the gray F-250’s reckless driving became even more so reckless, as the vehicle began swerving side to side across both southbound and northbound lanes of travel. LCSO elected to terminate the pursuit after passing NW Spruce Pointe Lane, North of Beachside State Park in Seal Rock, in hopes it would reduce the threat of serious injury or death to the motoring public due to the driver’s recklessness.
In total, the pursuit lead Lincoln County law enforcement on a 13.2 mile pursuit. It was apparent that the driver was exercising negligence and recklessness with an extreme indifference to human life of himself, his passengers, and the motoring public, which was likely exacerbated with law enforcement continuing to pursue. Deputies lost sight of the gray F-250 after it passed Beachside State Park. Law enforcement observed there were three suspects in the gray F-250 including the driver from the disabled dark blue F-250. None of the suspects were identified and all three are currently outstanding.
Deputies were notified by citizens in the Waldport area that the gray F-250 continued driving recklessly and at high speeds through Waldport and onto Highway 34 eastbound. Deputies patrolled Highway 34 and spoke with numerous motorists and pedestrians who saw the gray F-250 speeding eastbound. At 3:50 PM, Sgt. Dunteman located the stolen gray F-250 parked and unoccupied at Don Lindley Park - 6977 E Alsea Highway.
A few fishermen saw 3 occupants flee on foot into the park. By that time, there was a 30-minute delay according to the fishermen. The owners of the gray F-250 were contacted and reunited with their vehicle, which was thankfully still driveable. The owners of the dark blue F-250 were contacted as well. Anyone with information is asked to contact law enforcement and refer to the following case numbers;
LCSO Case # 21S-01877
NPD Case # 21N-02109
LCPD Case # 21-1530