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Rise in propane tanks could be linked to illegal hash oil manufacturing, police say

Tualatin Police are warning residents to be on the lookout, after a recent increase in thefts of propane tanks over the past week.

According to police spokesman Jennifer Massey, police responded to two reports of stolen propane tanks in Tualatin over the last several days.

On Monday, Feb. 22, police investigated after a tank was reported stolen from a truck that was parked near a business on Southwest Bridgeport Road.

The second incident, reported Wednesday, Feb. 24, involved True Value Hardware, 8460 S.W. Nyberg Road. Employees at the store told police that nine propane tanks had been stolen from a secured tank storage locker in front of the store.

No surveillance footage or suspect information has been released, and Massey said it’s not clear that the two incidents are related.

“We just want to put the word out and caution folks to secure their tanks, if they can,” Massey said.

Massey said that police were concerned that the rise in thefts could be linked to manufacturing hash oil, a dangerous process of extracting oil from cannabis, which has a higher concentration of marijuana’s psychoactive chemical, THC.

Manufacturing hash oil is illegal in Oregon. Unsafe extractions of hash oil has caused two explosions in Tigard over the last few years.

“It’s very dangerous,” Massey said. “It’s very volatile.”

Anyone with information about the thefts --- including people with possible suspect descriptions --- is asked to call 503-691-4800.

“Citizens and business owners are encouraged to take extra steps to ensure that propane tanks are secured and not easily accessible.”