Authorities still looking for suspect
by: Marcus Hathcock, This Subaru Impreza crashed into a thicket of trees after losing control after a high-speed chase that began late Thursday, Dec. 20. The suspect fled on foot after crashing.

A traffic stop turned into a manhunt after a suspect led police through town on a high-speed chase late Thursday, Dec. 20.

At 11:44 p.m., Deputy Brandon Claggett of the Clackamas County Sheriff's Office tried to initiate a traffic stop with a dark aqua Subaru Impreza sedan.

As of Friday, Sheriff's Spokesman Jim Strovink was unsure of the driver's exact infraction, but what is clear is that the driver wouldn't pull over for Claggett, he said.

'Claggett tried to stop him, and he bailed,' Strovink said.

The pursuit, which officers later described as a high-speed chase, led police through Sandy and Highway 26 and onto 362nd Avenue, where the suspect eventually lost control of his vehicle and crashed into some brush near Skogan Road.

That wasn't the end, though.

The suspect, described as a white male, jumped out of his crashed car and ran into the woods at about midnight.

Personnel from the sheriff's office and the Sandy Police Department arrived shortly after, setting up a perimeter around Southwest Sandy - from Skogan Road to 370th and Sandy Heights Road to Dubarko Road at Eldridge Road - to try to spot the suspect. Officers went into the woods with machetes and a K-9 unit, to no avail.

Officers had several sightings of the suspect, Strovink reported.

'They had him on the run,' he said. 'One guy called in to say their horses were spooked because someone was running through the woods.'

A 'prowler' also was reported on Dubarko Road on the other side of town.

Ultimately, police weren't able to find him Friday morning. They cleared the scene by 2:20 a.m.

When police called the Sandy residence of the car's registered owner, that person, a woman, was 'very uncooperative,' Strovink said, and was not willing volunteer the name of the person who had been driving that night.

'She said it could have been any number of people,' he said. 'She didn't seem too concerned.'

Strovink says the investigation thus far has led authorities to identify a person of interest in the crime, a young Sandy-area man with a track record of car-borne crimes. Police wouldn't release his name.

'The subject - who they believe it is - has a multiple arrest history for' unauthorized use of a motor vehicle, Strovink said.

A search of the car later revealed some stolen property from the neighborhood where the suspect lives, Strovink said.

Should the individual be caught, he would be charged with reckless endangerment, attempted elude, attempted elude on foot and escape. That, of course, doesn't include any charges that could stem from the stolen property inside the vehicle.

'This is ongoing,' Strovink said. 'Investigators have a subject of interest, and the investigation continues.'

Anyone with information about this case is urged to call the Clackamas County Sheriff's Office tip line at 503-723-4949.

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