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Police probe series of eggings around town

10 incidents reported in February

It began on the morning of Feb. 8.

At 8:41 a.m. West Linn police received a call about a vehicle that had been “egged” on Lewthwaite Street in the Bolton area. Another call came in at 9 a.m., this time further west on Debok Road in the Willamette area.

An hour later there was a third report, on Skye Parkway. And then another. And another.

It was the beginning of a series of incidents, and by the end of February police had responded to 10 calls related to eggs being thrown at either vehicles or houses in West Linn. The trend has died down in recent weeks — it often comes in waves — but police remain on the hunt for suspects.

“It seems like it’s fairly cyclical, and right around spring we see an increase in eggings,” West Linn Police Sergeant Mike Francis said. “It’s frustrating our guys on graveyard shift. They feel like they’re getting beat up, because they can’t find the rascals doing it.”

At first glance, it might seem like innocent juvenile mischief, but Francis said egging is a crime — and often a far more serious one than kids may realize.

“Really, it’s not funny and it’s not harmless at all,” Francis said. “A car gets egged and depending on where (the eggs are), there could be a re-painting of a whole car, or a whole car door, and that could be several thousands of dollars.”

And if the damage is indeed above $1,000, that opens the door for felony first degree criminal mischief charges.

“This is young people making bad choices,” Francis said. “It’s not a good way to have fun.”

Police dealt with a similar spate of eggings in March 2015, when at least 20 vehicles were egged in one night. During that time, Francis said police relied in part on local grocery stores to call in tips if teens were buying a suspicious amount of eggs.

“We talked to the managers and had them cooperating,” Francis said. “If someone buys six dozen eggs, and there’s teenage boys around, obviously they’re not making omelets at 10 p.m. at night.”

That intel helped police find some of the perpetrators in 2015, but such luck has not repeated itself this time around. “News travels fast,” Francis said. “We think they may have learned to buy eggs elsewhere. ... We asked the stores recently, and they said there was nothing unusual.”

Indeed, Market of Choice Store Manager Gregg Kruse confirmed to the Tidings that “no one here has noticed any abnormal egg purchases,” adding that employees would “keep an eye out” going forward.

The last incident occurred Feb. 28, meaning it has been nearly a full month since an egging was reported. In the event that they begin to occur once more, Francis had a number of suggestions for mitigating damage.”The most important thing is you have to wash that off immediately ... don’t wait for police to arrive and take a photo,” Francis said. “When an egg breaks it goes into sharp little shards and they can cut through the metal.”

If you have information about the eggings, call the police at 503-635-0238.