Car thief busting East Portland cops earn awards

If your vehicle is still in your driveway tomorrow morning, it could be because these two hard-working officers put away the crooks that were stealing cars in your area last year …

Flanking Portland Police Bureau Chief Rosie Sizer are East Precinct Achievement Medal winners Officer Phillip Ken and Officer Scott McCollister.

Story and photo by David F. Ashton
In early 2007, auto theft was at an all time high in outer East Portland.

Portland Police East Precinct Officers Scott McCollister and Phillip Kent decided to put a stop to the thieving. And, just a few days ago, in a ceremony at the David Douglas High School Horner Performing Arts Center – they were awarded for doing just that.

Catching car crooks – part time
Between their calls for service, McCollister and Kent started working on vehicle theft cases. They ran down leads and talked to victims and witnesses.

Attempting follow-up and surveillance in their “downtime” proved to be a difficult task, so the officers developed a plan to work a “mini-auto-theft detail” within the precinct.

Detail puts breaks on thefts
In May 2007, the two began working the East Precinct Auto Theft Detail full time. Their work to combat auto theft made a significant impact. At the time, auto theft in East Precinct was 41% higher than the corresponding period in the previous year. By December of 2007, the auto theft rate for East Precinct had dropped by 8%.

During their time in the detail, Officers McCollister and Kent recovered 153 stolen vehicles, and made 41 arrests for Unauthorized Use of a Motor Vehicle/Possession of a Stolen Motor Vehicle. They also arrested 51 other people on warrants or other charges, and recovered two guns.

In recognition of their leadership, and commitment to reducing auto theft crimes, Officer Scott McCollister and Officer Phillip Kent were awarded the Portland Police Bureau Achievement Medal at the ceremony.

© 2008 David F. Ashton ~ East Portland News

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