Three men were arrested and two stolen vehicles were recovered in Molalla Tuesday morning after police responded to a car break-in. All three had prior charges related to auto theft.
On Tuesday, Aug. 22 at approximately 6:31 a.m., Molalla Police responded to a report of subjects breaking into a car at the 700 block of Oriental Court in Molalla, according to a press release from the Molalla Police Department.
After being approached by the owner of the vehicle, the subjects fled in two vehicles, which were described as Toyota 4Runners—one silver and one white or tan.
Minutes later, a Molalla Police officer spotted two vehicles near HWY 213 and Liberal that matched the descriptions, and began broadcasting information. The officer attempted a traffic stop of one of the vehicles, but the driver failed to stop, and the officer pursued. The driver then crashed the vehicle and fled from the scene on foot.
Lynn Blatter told The Pioneer that the driver was Blake West, and that the neighborhood where the crash took place was put under lockdown while they searched for West.
"I went to open my inside front door and came face to face with him," Blatter said. "He stated he was 'sleeping on the porch.' I was armed and started yelling for him to leave. He left the porch and encountered my husband who also told him to leave the property. West then went out onto Marshall Rd and was arrested as there were numerous [law enforcement] parked there."
A Molalla Patrol Unit, who was on his way to assist, spotted the second vehicle and attempted a traffic stop which resulted in a short chase ending on HWY 213 near S. Eldorado Rd.
Officers from Molalla, the Clackamas County Sherriff's Office and Canby Police Department responded to the scene.
The suspects were each arrested on charges of unauthorized use of a motor vehicle (with additional charges listed below) and booked into the Clackamas County Jail. The stolen 4Runners were recovered. The three men were identified as Blake West, 24, Corey John Smith, 27, and Harold Cubbedge, 51.
Cubbedge was previously arrested on June 20 of this year after Happy Valley Police stopped him in a stolen Maserati, per a press release from the Clackamas County Sheriff's Office on June 27. At the time, police found evidence that Cubbedge was connected to a string of nearly a dozen stolen vehicles; and he was charged with unauthorized use of a motor vehicle, theft in the first degree, identity theft, and possession of a controlled substance—methamphetamine.
Smith was also a suspect in the June case, and police were searching for him at the time of Cubbedge's June 20th arrest. He was arrested in December 2016 as well in connection with auto theft and identity theft, according to a Dec. 7 Fox 12 Oregon article.
On Tuesday in Molalla when Smith was apprehended, in addition to unauthorized use of a motor vehicle, he was also charged with attempt to elude a peace officer and attempt to assault a public safety officer.
West received additional charges as well, including attempt to elude a peace officer, criminal mischief and reckless driving. He also had six outstanding warrants, which were: possession of a forged instrument, three counts of failure to appear for identity theft, and two counts of failure to appear for unlawful entry into a motor vehicle.
Anyone who has more information about the case is urged to call the Molalla Police Department at 503-829-8817.