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Arrests made as police target stolen cars in East Portland mission

Portland Police said 12 people were arrested as stolen vehicles, meth and a firearm were taken off the streets on Friday night.

PORTLAND, Ore. — A car theft mission by Portland Police in East Precinct on Friday night led to the recovery of several vehicles and arrests, the bureau said.

Six stolen vehicles were recovered and 12 people were arrested, one illegal gun and 39 grams of meth were seized, according to police.

"The purpose is to find stolen cars that are out rolling around. These are cars that are being actively used for other crimes," said Portland Police Lieutenant Norman Staples in a video of a ride along.

Police have recovered more than 100 stolen vehicles, arrested 169 people and seized 24 illegal firearms during fifteen of these missions, which started in November 2021.

Staples said the traffic stops are evidence-based using statistical analysis of the data.

"We don't do random stops. There are specific things that we look for at cars or cars' behavior, which indicate that the car could be stolen," said Staples.

He said the arrests have included suspects involved in shootings, homicides and robberies.

East Precinct runs east-west from Southeast Cesar E. Chavez Boulevard to the border with Gresham out past 162nd Avenue and north-south from Southeast Clatsop Street to north of Interstate 84.

Between January and October 2022, 9,212 vehicles have been reported as stolen according to the police bureau's Monthly Neighborhood Offense Statistics, compared to 7,019 during the same period in 2021.

In August, Portland saw a spike in car thefts after a so-called Kia Challenge — a popular TikTok trend that dared people to steal Kia and Hyundai vehicles.

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