City of Portland Employee Arrested as part of Ongoing Auto Theft Investigation (Photo)

City of Portland Employee Arrested as part of Ongoing Auto Theft Investigation (Photo)

April 23, 2014 13:40


Today, Wednesday April 23, 2014, Portland Police Bureau detectives arrested a 53-year-old City of Portland employee for her role in an ongoing auto theft investigation.

53-year-old Barbara Lorraine Peterson was arrested after arriving at work today at the Portland Bureau of Transportation's (PBOT) Abandoned Auto Section.

Detectives interviewed Peterson then booked her into the Multnomah County Jail on seven counts of Official Misconduct, four counts of Conspiracy to Commit Unlawful Use of a Motor Vehicle (UUMV) and three counts of UUMV.

Peterson will be arraigned on Thursday in Multnomah County Court.

Detectives conducting a significant auto theft investigation involving several people and locations, including West Coast Car Crushing, learned during that investigation that a City of Portland employee was providing information on abandoned vehicles to an illicit tow driver, who would then steal the cars by towing them to West Coast Car Crushing, where they would be crushed and sold as scrap metal.

Detectives opened a secondary investigation into these allegations and identified Peterson as the City of Portland employee. Through this investigation, they learned that Peterson was accepting cash payments for providing information on vehicles to the tow driver.

Based on the investigation, detectives believe that Peterson was acting alone and without the knowledge of the City of Portland or any other city employees.

This arrest will be presented to a Multnomah County Grand Jury to consider charges.

If anyone has information about this investigation, they are asked to contact Detective Jeff Sharp at (503) 823-9773,; or, Detective Angela Hollan at (503) 823-3761,

This remains ongoing investigation involving the following agencies: The Portland Police Bureau's North Precinct and Detective Division, the Oregon Department of Justice, the Multnomah County District Attorney's Office, the Oregon State Police, the Oregon Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ), the Oregon Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV), the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), the National Insurance Crime Bureau (NICB), the Oregon Department of Human Services, the Clark County (WA) Sheriff's Office, and the Clackamas County Sheriff's Office.

No additional information will be released at this time.



Media Relations:
Sgt. Pete Simpson
Desk: 503-823-0830
Pager: 503-790-1779

Portland Police Bureau
1111 SW 2nd Ave, Suite 1526
Portland, Oregon 97204