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Police use drone, K9 to track down suspected motorcycle thief in Grants Pass

Officers were able to trap the suspect in a field after he tried to flee in a pickup truck through the streets of Grants Pass.

Posted: May 12, 2020 9:38 AM
Updated: May 12, 2020 9:41 AM

GRANTS PASS, Ore. — Police in Grants Pass arrested a suspected motorcycle thief on Monday following a high-speed chase and drone search, the Grants Pass Department of Public Safety (GPDPS) said in a statement.

The chase began when officers tried to pull over the driver of a tan Toyota pickup on NE D Street near NE Beacon Drive. According to GPDPS, officers knew that the driver was Justin Sager — suspected of stealing motorcycles and other property from northeast Grants Pass.

According to the agency, Sager turned north on Beacon Drive and sped away, running stop signs and weaving into oncoming traffic. At that point, officers stopped pursuing in the interest of safety.

Other officers found Sager's pickup as it turned onto a dead-end street at Lynda Lane near NE Hillcrest Avenue, where Sager reportedly crashed into a parked car. He then got out and ran away into an empty field, GPDPS said.

Multiple agencies began setting up a perimeter around the field to keep the suspect from getting away, while GPDPS deployed a drone and K9 unit to begin searching. Eventually, GPDPS said that the officers were able to find Sager hiding in a thicket of blackberry bushes.

Sager was taken into custody and booked into the Josephine County Jail, charged with four counts of Unauthorized Use of a Vehicle, one count of Theft II, Felony Elude, Misdemeanor Elude, Reckless Driving, and Criminal Mischief II.

Anyone with further information about the case should call the Grants Pass Department of Public Safety at (541) 450-6260 regarding case 20-21449.

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