Another Stolen Vehicle Operation (SVO), led by Portland Police East Precinct in collaboration with multiple law enforcement partner agencies, has led to the 300th stolen vehicle located and numerous suspects facing serious felony charges.
The afternoon and evening of Wednesday, November 29, 2023, PPB East Precinct ran a joint agency Stolen Vehicle Operation with Gresham Police Department, the Port of Portland Police Department, the Multnomah County District Attorney’s Auto Theft Task Force, PPB’s K9 Unit, and PPB’s Air Support Unit. Our partners at Vancouver Police Department were collaborating with us as they ran their own SVO mission (see VPD’s news release).
The operation focused on the north and east Portland metropolitan area. Crowdsourced Facebook group PDX Stolen Cars again assisted the operation helping locate and recover stolen vehicles.
This is the 33rd SVO done by PPB East Precinct using evidence-based practices, and officers have now officially exceeded 300 stolen vehicles located during the missions. Officers on the mission stopped 20 people and recovered 7 stolen vehicles. That is consistent with the long-term ratio of 1 stolen car located for every 3 stops (1:3). Evidence-based practices, that have been refined through the unique collaboration with Oregon Health and Science University Knight Cancer Institute, have dramatically increased the team's success. One:three is a huge improvement from previous missions. In the non-evidence-based practice missions previously conducted by the SVO team, only one in every 31 vehicles stopped was an occupied stolen vehicle (1:31).
Eight arrests were made, one illegally possessed gun was seized, and 5 vehicles were towed. Five drivers eluded police stops, 2 of which were captured.
At 3:39p.m., members of the SVO found a stolen vehicle and attempted to stop the driver on East Burnside Street at Northeast 99th Avenue. The driver eluded at reckless speeds, endangering other road users. The driver was not pursued due to policy restrictions, but was followed by the Air Support Unit (ASU) from above. The ASU Tactical Flight Officer witnessed the driver speed up to 90 miles per hour, weaving in-and-out of oncoming traffic, passing other cars on the shoulder, and almost causing a crash at Northeast 75th Avenue. With the help of ASU, officers located the vehicle at Northeast 63rd Avenue and Northeast Oregon Street and used their vehicles to pin it in and prevent the driver from eluding any further. The driver jumped out of the vehicle and ran into a homeowner’s yard. The homeowner, a 79-year-old man, saw that police were trying to arrest the suspect and he attempted to block the suspect’s path, but the suspect pushed him over, causing injuries. The suspect, Blake W. Schubert, 36, unknown residence, was booked into the Multnomah County Detention Center on charges of Unauthorized Use of a Motor Vehicle, Possession of a Stolen Vehicle, Attempt to Elude Police by Vehicle, Attempt to Elude Police on Foot, Reckless Driving, Assault in the Fourth Degree, and Escape in the Third Degree (case number 23-309353). The victim who was injured suffered scrapes and bruises. He was treated on-scene, but declined ambulance transport. Video of this elude and arrest is available here: https://youtu.be/zoF-BkzRyV8
In another egregious example of a suspect recklessly eluding police, a driver of a stolen white Kia Sportage eluded Vancouver Police at high speed, crossing into Oregon, where his tires were spiked by two PPB officers on Northeast Airport Way. The suspect continued to drive on his rims, speeding, crossing into oncoming lanes of traffic, until he was finally spun around (using the Pursuit Intervention Technique, or PIT) and stopped on I-205 southbound and arrested. Officers had to close the freeway briefly to safely conduct a high-risk stop and arrest him. The driver, a 14-year-old male from Vancouver, was booked into the Donald E. Long Juvenile Detention Center on charges of Unauthorized Use of a Motor Vehicle, Unlawful Entry into a Motor Vehicle, Possession of a Stolen Vehicle, Attempt to Elude Police by Vehicle, Reckless Endangering, and an arrest warrant (see photos, PPB cases 23-309367, 23-309556, VPD Case #23-27356).
Car theft rates in Portland continue a significant downward trend amidst continuing multiagency stolen vehicle operations spearheaded out of East Precinct.
Over the last eight months, our program has consistently delivered outstanding results in reducing vehicle theft rates. In October 2022, there were 931 vehicles reported stolen to PPB. In October 2023 it was 590, a 36.6% decrease year over year.
-April: 24.4% decrease compared to the previous year (892 to 674) -May: 23.7% decrease compared to the previous year (849 to 648) -June: 26.7% decrease compared to the previous year (829 to 607) -July: 29.7% decrease compared to the previous year (862 to 606) -August: 35.3% decrease compared to the previous year (939 to 608) -September: 25.5% decrease compared to the previous year (861 to 644) -October: 36.6% decrease compared to the previous year (931 to 590)
We know that there are a lot of factors that go into crime trends, but we believe that enforcement efforts driven by data analysis, efficient use of limited resources, and interagency partnerships have been key factors in the reduction in car thefts in Portland. It’s something that we’re gratified to see because we know reducing theft rates means fewer victims. Car thefts are extremely impactful for victims, especially those who rely on their vehicles for their livelihoods. Additionally, stolen vehicles are often used by suspects in other crimes including robberies and shootings, and we believe interdicting those occupied stolen cars can prevent other crimes. We certainly have a long way to go and we’re not declaring victory over this problem. But the trend is going the right direction, and our intent is to continue these efforts going forward.
Photo descriptions: 1-White Kia vehicle surrounded by police vehicles with lights flashing on I205 freeway, police officers investigating seen in background 2-White Kia boxed-in by Portland Police vehicle, front left tire shredded and rim bent 3-White Kia rear wheel worn down to rims 4-stolen vehicle suspect in handcuffs being escorted by a Gresham officer 5-Suspect being arrested by officers in front of a stolen red vehicle with doors open near Northeast 82 and Oregon Street
6-Gresham Police and Portland Police Vehicles parked near a stolen red vehicle 7-Tan semiautomatic handgun with slide locked to the rear next to a magazine with ammunition