SALEM -- A man in a stolen truck led sheriff’s deputies on a chase through rural Oregon east of Salem Friday. He was eventually seized by a K-9 after taking off on foot into the woods, deputies said.
It all started just before 1 p.m. when a man from Stayton, Ore. reported his truck stolen. The man left his keys in the truck for five minutes, and when he returned, his truck was gone, said Don Thomson with the Marion County Sheriff’s Office.
Minutes later, the man’s brother called police after spotting the stolen truck speeding down Old Mehama Road near Highway 22.
Then a deputy spotted the truck racing down the road, but he made the decision not to endanger others by giving chase, Thomson said.
About an hour later, deputies spotted the truck and chased it though a series of rural towns. At some points, the truck reached speeds of 70 mph, Thomson said.
The suspect led authorities onto unmarked, snow-lined gravel fire roads near Monument Peak, two miles west of Detroit Lake. Then, while the truck was still moving, the driver jumped out and ran into nearby woods, Thomson said.
Deputies used a K-9 to track the suspect for half a mile before finding him hiding, face down, in a small cave near a creek. After he refused to surrender, he was seized by the dog, Thomson said.
Deputies arrested Robert Atkinson, 23, and charged him with felony elude, possession of stolen property and unlawful use of a motor vehicle.
He was taken to a Salem hospital for treatment of a dog bite on his neck.