Teen helps deputies arrest her mother in theft ring case

HILLSBORO, Ore. -- A 13-year-old helped the Washington County sheriff's office arrest her mother in connection with a series of thefts. The good deed was rewarded with a free bike from one of the theft victims.

On the evening of Oct. 1, deputies were dispatched to a home in the Cedar Hills neighborhood about a suspicious bicycle reported by the girl.

She told them her mother had been stealing property around the metro area with a man. She said her mother told her to help them steal from apartments and donation drop-offs, according to the sheriff's office.

Deputies determined the bicycle had been stolen from an Aloha apartment. They also determined the mother and the man had been storing stolen property in a U-Haul van in Tualatin and a storage unit in Aloha.

The next day, deputies found an electric scooter in the van which had been stolen from a Portland woman. They also found 10 stolen bicycles and other items. On Oct. 3, they found additional stolen items in the storage unit.

Deputies arrested Lara Kent, 33, of Beaverton, and Jack Harman Jr., 37, of Portland on Oct. 3. Inside their vehicle, deputies found over 70 items believed to be stolen, including jewelry, checks, mail, license plates and retail clothing.

Kent was accused of unauthorized use of a motor vehicle, three counts of second-degree theft and two counts of second-degree criminal mischief. Harman was accused of unauthorized use of a motor vehicle and three counts of second-degree theft. Additional charges may be added.

The woman whose scooter was stolen, Cheryl Evans, 37, of Portland, told deputies she wanted to buy a bicycle for the teen. Evans said that she also had a difficult childhood "and understands doing the right thing can sometimes be difficult, especially when family is involved," the sheriff's office said.

On Thursday, Evans and deputies took the girl and her younger brother to a store to pick out a new bike and lock for both.

"We would like to thank Ms. Evans and the 13-year-old girl for demonstrating the Washington County Sheriff's Office core values: do your best, do the right thing, and treat others the way you want to be treated."


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