Updated: Apr 29
On the evening of April 25th, 2021 Lincoln County deputies responded to a late stolen vehicle call at the Worldmark Resort in Gleneden Beach. Staff reported an unknown suspect stole a company van. Deputies located the van minutes later driving southbound on Highway 101 near Fogarty Creek State Park, a few miles to the South. Deputies stopped the driver, identified as Leonid “Leo” Samoylich, of Gleneden Beach. Leonid was taken into custody without incident and the stolen van was returned to the Worldmark Resort.
In addition, Leonid provided false information to law enforcement when asked to identify. Due to COVID-19 protocols, Leonid’s reservation at the Lincoln County Jail was cancelled, and he was instead criminally cited for Unauthorized Use of a Motor Vehicle and Providing False Information to Police. Then on the morning of April 27th, 2021, just two days later, Newport Police Officer Shelby Smith contacted Leonid in the parking lot behind Newport City Hall.
Officer Smith grew suspicious of Leonid when she saw him casing the parking lot for unlocked vehicles and trying door handles. Officer Smith investigated Leonid and deterred him from continuing to do so. Officer Smith kept a watchful eye on Leonid as he walked around central Newport. Approximately an hour later, Officer Smith observed Leonid standing near a maroon Nissan Titan parked at the Shell Gas Station in Newport.
Officer Smith circled the block and no longer saw him. Minutes later, Newport Police were dispatched to a stolen vehicle call at…you guessed it…the Shell Gas Station. A customer reported he left his maroon Nissan Titan running while he was in the convenience store. Witnesses informed him that someone drove off with his vehicle while he was inside.
Luckily, Officer Smith was not too far behind and through deductive reasoning, suspected Leonid Samoylich of stealing the victim’s vehicle. Officer Smith attempted to stop Leonid who ultimately led officers on a high-speed pursuit through Newport. Leonid reached speeds of 90-100 MPH through Newport’s 35 MPH zone, and officers discontinued the pursuit in the interest of public safety.
Lincoln County Deputy Sheriff Jason Spano located the vehicle passing through Gleneden Beach just before 7:00 AM. Deputy Spano attempted to stop the vehicle which again attempted to elude law enforcement. Leonid led Deputy Spano on a several mile long pursuit through Gleneden Beach. Leonid stopped his vehicle and fled on foot through his property in Gleneden Beach where Deputy Spano chased and captured him inside his home after a short foot pursuit.
The victim’s vehicle was returned to them. Leonid proved that he is not willing to behave after repeated police contact, and he met the requirements to be lodged at the Lincoln County Jail. Leonid was arrested for the following charges: Theft 1st Degree, Unauthorized Use of a Motor Vehicle, Unauthorized Entry of a Motor Vehicle, Attempt to Elude, and Reckless Driving.