By Karen Wilkinson
Triplicate staff writer
A car stolen from a Crescent City rental agency hit an Oregon State Police patrol car Monday, prompting officials to search for the two male suspects.
An OSP trooper tried to stop a white 2004 Ford Taurus with California license plates for a traffic violation after it exited Interstate 5 in the Canyonville, Ore., area at 1:25 p.m. Monday.
The car, which was occupied by two white men, abruptly stopped and then sped off, attempting to elude the trooper on secondary roads before recklessly heading south on I-5, officials said.
The trooper was moving near the left rear of the Taurus when it swerved to the left and to the right front of the patrol car, forcing the patrol car into the center median, where it became stuck in the mud.
About an hour later, another OSP trooper found the Ford Taurus abandoned five miles east of I-5 on Tiller Trail Road. Witnesses reported the two men were seen getting into a light blue or gray four-door car with unknown Oregon "tree style" license plates.
The car was occupied by two white females and it's unclear if they knew the two male suspects, officials said.
The male suspects are described as:
White male adult, 25 to 30 years old, bald with scars, wearing a dark blue nylon jacket, jeans and possibly a gray hooded sweatshirt jacket.
"Scruffy" white male adult in his 40s, wearing a dark shirt or jacket.
The Ford Taurus was stolen from Express Auto Rentals, along with $2,000 to $2,500 in cash, receipts, checks and other car keys, said co-owner Jake Ritter.
The business was broken into either late Saturday night or early Sunday morning, Ritter said. Also, its safe was torched with the business' equipment.
"It almost looks like an afterthought that they took the car," Ritter said.
OSP Lt. Doug Ladd said though the suspects haven't been identified or located, "we do have some leads we're following up on."
The burglary and incident with the trooper are more than likely connected and the suspects are probably from either Crescent City or Douglas County, Ore., Ladd said.
"They seemed to have some knowledge of the territory in both places," he said.
Insurance will cover the cost of the car and business is running as usual, Ritter said.
"It got us good, but we're just going right on (and) just operating on a daily basis," he said.
The Salem (Ore.) News contributed to this article.
If You Know
Anyone with information is asked to call the Crescent City Police Department at 707-464-2133 or the Oregon State Police's Southern Command Center dispatch at 541-776-6111.