Four vehicles stolen in the past week

By Jane Stebbins, Pilot staff writer September 08, 2012 07:49 am

 

A truck stolen from Curry County was found in the Smith River last week. Submitted photo
A truck stolen from Curry County was found in the Smith River last week. Submitted photo
Two vehicles from Brookings and two from Harbor were stolen in the past week, with one recovered at the bottom of the Smith River and another burned up on Kellogg Beach in Crescent City, Calif.

According to Brookings Police Sgt. Terry Murray, a 1984 Toyota pickup truck was reported stolen Sept. 3 and recovered submerged in the Smith River near the Dr. Fine Bridge. A 2008 Jeep Wrangler was stolen Sept. 1 and has yet to be found.

 

Neither of the vehicles from Brookings were stolen in the same neighborhood, and Murray declined to say how they were taken, citing the ongoing investigation.

He also declined to say if they have any clues, saying, “We’re getting little tips here and there.”

Curry County Sheriff Dep. Jared Gray said two vehicles were stolen in Harbor – including one “literally feet in front of the owner.”

That vehicle, a 2000 Chevy Silverado pickup, was parked at Gold Beach Lumber Aug. 31 when a man in his 20s got in the truck and drove off.

“This young guy just walked up and jumped in, right in front of the owner, and drove off,” Gray said. “It was in the middle of the day, in front of a business, and he just passed a guy on a forklift. You can see him in the video; the forklift driver had to slow down for him. It was kind of odd. It was pretty brazen.”

Officers were in the area attending to a car wreck, but were unable to locate the truck.

The perpetrator was caught on camera at the lumber yard, but a second motion-activated camera failed to come on. Those involved in the investigation believe the perpetrator is involved in all four thefts.

The other vehicle was stolen that morning from a residence about six miles up the Winchuck River. Two other unlocked vehicles at that residence were left untouched.

“That one had a bunch of tools; it had 320,000 miles on it,” Gray said. “It’s just an old clunker work truck. We thought maybe he was taking it for the tools, but it’s hard to say. And the 2000 (model) was nothing fancy. It had some rust and doings and there was nothing in the truck.”

It is unknown what the motive was behind the thefts.

Gray said the thefts were most likely crimes of opportunity, as keys were left on the floorboard of the truck stolen from the Winchuck River area.

“Don’t leave your keys in the car,” advised Gray. “If these cars hadn’t had the keys in the car, he couldn’t have taken them – and in one case, right in front of people.”

The perpetrator is described as a younger white male, possibly with blond hair, and wearing a red baseball cap and baggy clothes.

Anyone with information is encouraged to call the Curry County Sheriff’s Office at 541-247-3243 or the Brookings Police Department at 541-469-3118.