Detailed description from victims helped identify the suspect
Lake Oswego police are crediting an alert teenage boy and his mom with helping to nab a burglar on Lakeview Boulevard.
Police arrested Stephan Smith, 49, of Oregon City, after responding to a report of a residential burglary that had just occurred Tuesday afternoon.
The homeowner had been nearby when she received a call from her son, who said he had seen a man enter their garage. As the mother returned to the house, the suspect fled, scaling a fence and escaping through a neighbors yard.
But using a detailed description of the suspect provided by the mom and son, police located a man who fit that account as he climbed into a pickup truck parked in the area.
Officers arrested Smith without incident and lodged him at Clackamas County Jail for second-degree burglary. Smith didnt have stolen items on him, police said, and the investigation is ongoing.
Sgt. Tom Hamann, a Lake Oswego Police Department spokesman, said officers had a great head start in the case thanks to the teenager and his mother.
The boy and the mom both gave us great descriptions, Hamann said. Oftentimes folks are so startled by what's happening they don't pay attention to that kind of stuff. In this case, for whatever reason, they were able to get a really accurate clothing description.
Hamann offered a couple of tips for what to notice.
When we describe people, and when we ask other people to describe them, we do that in a head-to-toe fashion, he said. You start at the head and work down to the feet. Look at their hair, and are they wearing a hat? If people look at it that way it can help.
Hamann said its possible there are other burglary victims in the area, as community members had noticed Smith and considered him out of the ordinary in the neighborhood up to an hour before his arrest.
The Lakeview Boulevard homes garage was entered through an unlocked door, Hamann added.
We want to encourage folks to report suspicious people when they see them right away, and to make sure they lock doors on their outbuildings and vehicles to reduce the chances of them being victimized," he said.