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Tire thieves show a suspicious profile

Richard Wade Ingersoll Jr.

HERMISTON, Oregon – Three people from Pasco were sent to Umatilla County Jail after Hermiston Police Officer Mike Ellwood noticed something strange about the Chevrolet Impala that drove past him while he was on a routine patrol early Wednesday morning.

“He saw that the vehicle had two semi-truck tires strapped to the top of it,” HPD Capt. Travis Eynon said. “So, knowing that’s not something you see every day, he decided to turn around and follow it – get a better look. The vehicle accelerated away at a very high rate of speed.”

Eynon said the vehicle turned right on Northeast Fourth Street and then left onto East Jennie Avenue with Ellwood in pursuit.

“He drove up East Jennie Avenue and then found one of the tires had fallen off the car and was rolling down the road,” Eynon said.

The officer also found the second tire in the road in the 600 block of Northeast Sixth Street. Ellwood then located the Impala with all three occupants still inside parked in a driveway on East Sunset Avenue.

The vehicle was driven by Richard Ingersoll, 33. The passengers were Michael Garrison, 33, and Crystal Smith, 37. All three of them are from Pasco. Eynon said the investigation revealed the tires were stolen from the Pilot Truck Stop in Stanfield. Ellwood also found other items stolen from the store.

Stanfield police were notified and took custody of the three, lodging them in Umatilla County Jail on the theft charges. Ingersoll is also being charged by the Hermiston Police Department with reckless driving and reckless endangerment.

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