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Convict caught in car clout

A little bit of textbook police work in West Linn netted an alleged thief who had recently been paroled from prison.

Just after noon Monday an employee of Bolton Primary School called to report that she had just seen a man break the window of a vehicle in the parking lot, and the alarm was sounding.

West Linn Police Sgt. Neil Hennelly arrived in the area four minutes later, and Officer John Huntsman arrived six minutes after the call. While Huntsman talked with the victim, Hennelly began to check the area.

While he was talking to a female jogger on Holmes Street near Perrin, he noticed a man - later identified as Timothy Paul Hopp, 28, of Oregon City - walking toward the school from Buck Street. Hopp appeared very nervous, according to Hennelly.

'(Huntsman) checked the suspect description,' Hennelly said, 'and this man matched everything except the clothing he was wearing.'

Hopp told Hennelly that he was waiting on his friend, and was just out walking around the block. While Huntsman continued his investigation, Hennelly searched the neighborhood for two purses allegedly stolen from the car.

During the investigation it was learned that Hopp recently had been released from prison after serving time for possession of methamphetamine.

At that time, the witness positively identified Hopp as the person who had broken into the car and taken the purses.

While Huntsman took Hopp into custody, Hennelly walked toward the end of Buck Street and talked with several area residents, including Brian Chodowski, who was out walking his dog.

Chodowski entered the trailhead for Burnside Park and very soon found a sweatshirt and two purses along with credit cards scattered nearby. He called Hennelly, who arranged to have the property collected as evidence.

Hopp was transported and lodged in the Clackamas County Jail for unauthorized entry to a vehicle, theft and attempted possession of a controlled substance - methamphetamine.

He was held without bail due to a parole violation.