On Saturday, December 2, 2023, Lincoln City Police Officers were conducting proactive traffic enforcement on Highway 101 in Lincoln City and observed a silver Honda Accord with stolen license plates taken from a Kia Optima out of Marion County. The vehicle left the area before the officer could turn around to conduct a traffic stop.
The patrol officers continued the search for the car, eventually locating the Honda parked in a disabled parking stall at the Lincoln City Outlets and occupied by two people. The driver of the Honda initially provided a false name, but was ultimately identified as 60-year-old Matthew David Griner of Lebanon, Oregon.
Griner had multiple warrants out for his arrest and his driving privileges were criminally revoked. During the investigation, officers recovered two sets of stolen license plates, a replica firearm, and a user-quantity of narcotics. The Honda Accord was previously reported stolen out of Salem, Oregon, and was recovered and towed from the scene.
Griner was lodged at the Lincoln County Jail on charges of Unauthorized Use of a Motor Vehicle, Unauthorized Entry into a Motor Vehicle, Possession of Stolen Property x 2, Giving False Information to a Police Officer, Trafficking in Vehicle with Altered ID Numbers, Driving while Revoked Misdemeanor, and four out-of-county arrest warrants. This incident highlights the importance of police officers conducting traffic enforcement in an effort to keep the community safe.