Man steals Parks and Rec truck, eludes capture by police

Forest Grove/North Plains – Forest Grove Police are looking for a City of Forest Grove truck and two suspects after an alleged early morning confrontation between a City of Forest Grove employee and 19-year-old Jose Manuel Bernabe-Hernandez ended with Bernabe-Hernandez speeding off in a city-owned vehicle.

Police say Manuel Bernabe-Hernandez approached a City of Forest Grove employee at 6:58 a.m. at Talisman Park near Willamina Avenue in Forest Grove, asking about obtaining employment with the City of Forest Grove. Bernabe-Hernandez became belligerent with the employee and ran for the Parks and Recreation Department truck. He then drove away at a high rate of speed.

Officers later spotted and began following the truck, this time with a passenger in the stolen truck, identified as Jonathan Varona-Nieto, also 19, driving in the area of Highway 47 and NW Verboort Road between Banks and Forest Grove. According to police, the vehicle was seen crossing into oncoming traffic and driving erratically. Police gave chase and then terminated the pursuit for safety of the public due to Bernabe-Hernandez’s erratic driving.

The truck is a white 2016 Ford F-250 extra cab pick-up, bearing Oregon plate E266544 and displaying “City of Forest Grove” markings on the doors, according to a statement by the Forest Grove Police Department. It was last seen near Cornelius-Schefflin Road heading towards the North Plains area.

Police ask anyone who sees the vehicle or the suspects to call 911 and not approach the subjects.

**Update, 8/5/2017 1:37 p.m.: According to the Forest Grove Police Department, the stolen truck was recovered with the assistance of the Portland Police Bureau near SW 2nd Ave. and SW Alder St. in downtown Portland early today. The keys were missing, but no other damage was reported. Arrests are to follow, according to the Forest Grove Police Department.

The truck that was stolen, photo taken after theft. Photo from Forest Grove Police Department.

 


Sources and more information:

Forest Grove Police Department Media Release (no link available)
City of Forest Grove Facebook page

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