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Bike theft investigation leads police to Washington Jefferson Park

"While arrests were made there, this is not about the park and the people living there who are trying to recover from homelessness. This is about getting a resolution in a criminal case and holding offenders accountable.”

Posted: Nov 12, 2021 9:41 AM
Updated: Nov 12, 2021 9:43 AM

EUGENE, Ore. -- The investigation into a massive bicycle theft in Eugene led authorities to tents at the Washington Jefferson Park.

About $100,000 worth of bikes were taken from Hutch's Bike Shop earlier in the week. Eugene Police have arrested one person and issued a citation in connection, as well as found four of the stolen bikes that were stolen from Hutch's Bike Shop earlier this week.

RELATED: $100,000 WORTH OF BIKES STOLEN FROM EUGENE SHOP

On Thursday, Police said they learned that several bicycles stolen in the burglary were being stored in tents at the park.

Heather Priest, 34, of Eugene was arrested, accused of selling one of the stolen bikes and being in possession of a second stolen bicycle. And Joseph Davis, 43, of Eugene was issued a criminal citation for allegedly being in possession of one of the stolen bikes. 

Officers continued to patrol Washinton Jefferson Park in hopes of finding more of the stolen bicycles. Another bicycle was recovered, and a search warrant related to the investigation was served on two tents in the park where a fourth stolen bike was located. 

The total value for the four recovered bikes is $20,000. About 21 bikes in total were taken in the theft.

“I’m incredibly proud of our Property Crimes Unit for their hard work on this case and for the teamwork with the other units that went into recovering some of the property and making the appropriate arrests,” said Chief Chris Skinner. “This was a brazen crime with a huge impact to the involved business. Eugene Police Department is committed to holding offenders accountable and we have maintained that we will address criminal behavior regardless of where that occurs. In this instance our investigation took us to Washington Jefferson Park. There has been controversy about Washington Jefferson Park within our community. While arrests were made there, this is not about the park and the people living there who are trying to recover from homelessness. This is about getting a resolution in a criminal case and holding offenders accountable.”

If anyone has any tips in this case, they are asked to contact detectives at 541-682-5168.

Additional arrests not related to the stolen bicycle investigation were also made, including Zachariah Smith, 37, for delivery of heroin and unauthorized use of a vehicle. Jason Slaughter, 44, was arrested on a trespass warrant and Olallie Stahl-Wellborn, 21, was arrested for a parole violation. Adam Larsen, 28, was arrested on an unauthorized use of a vehicle warrant. 

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