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Police investigate stolen, burning car near Gaston

Vehicle was swiped in Portland, then burned Friday
by: Randy Hoodenpyl Firefighters contained a car fire up the road from Stimson Lumber, located near Gaston. Portland Police reported the car stolen.

Police are investigating the burning of a stolen car Wednesday near Gaston.

Sgt. Bob Ray, spokesman for the Washington County Sheriff's office said passersby noticed smoke emerging from timberland abutting the Stimson Mainline Road Wednesday morning.

Firefighters were called to the location of the burning car, disabled about a 10 minute drive up Stimson Mainline Road from Hagg Lake, and found the car's dash and engine compartment fully engulfed.

'Looked like the fire was started in the passenger compartment of the vehicle,' Ray said.

Police looked up the registration information for the 1990 Toyota Carolla and found it was stolen from Portland on Monday.

Ray said detectives are trying to piece together who stole the car and who set it on fire, but admitted that with few clues on the scene, it may be difficult to sort out.

'What happens a lot of time when people have cars short-term, they use them to commit crimes,' Ray said. 'It's a hot car, so then they get rid of it.'

'We don't have a whole lot to point us in a direction. Typically they'll burn the car because it burns all the evidence,' Ray said.

No one was seen coming or going from the car Wednesday.

Anyone with information regarding the burn is encouraged to call Washington County Detectives at 503-846-2500.