Lents armed robbery suspect tracked down and captured

See how an alert officer spotted this suspected teen robber, and – after a pursuit – arrested him in the Centennial neighborhood, a day later …

A Portland Police Bureau officer in the Lents neighborhood looks for a suspect who is alleged to have robbed teenage girls, along SE Foster Road.

Story and photos by David F. Ashton

The teen, who is now charged with armed robbery, could have escaped notice – if it hadn’t been for his choosing to speed down the I-205 freeway at 100 mph.

The incident started on Tuesday, October 19, when Portland Police Bureau (PPB) dispatchers sent East Precinct officers out at 8:41 p.m. for a reported armed robbery in a parking lot along SE Foster Road, near 84th Avenue.

The victims, who were five teenage girls, told officers that a young man had approached them as they sat in a parked car, threatened them with a gun, and then robbed them. “The suspect left the scene and was not located; however, the suspect’s vehicle description – a burgundy Honda sedan – was distributed to other officers,” a PPB official reported.

These officers make a plan to stop the suspect’s vehicle, as it heads eastbound on SE Division Street.

Then, 27 hours later on October 20, at 11:06 p.m., a PPB motorcycle officer returning from a training run spotted a car zipping along at an estimated 100 miles per hour, southbound on I-205, while it was crossing under East Burnside Street. Concerned that the driver would not stop, the officer called for backup while following from a distance. From the description of the speeding vehicle, officers believed it to be the car connected to the previous day’s robbery.

PPB cruisers converged on the car after it exited the freeway, heading east on SE Division Street – but the driver blasted past them.

Although “spike strips” puncture the tires on this fleeing Honda, the driver keeps rolling, on his wheel rims. PPB provided image

“The officers did not pursue, but the Air Support Unit overhead followed the suspect and gave updates to officers on the ground,” the PPB spokesperson said. “Although officers were able to deploy spike strips and deflate at least two of the vehicle’s tires, the driver continued to drive on his flattened tires until he got to an apartment complex in the 2600 block of Southeast 162nd Avenue.”

After the driver and a passenger bolted from the Honda, officers set up a perimeter to contain them, and called in help from members of the PPB’s Special Emergency Reaction Team and Crisis Negotiation Team.

Officers later confronted the suspects in an apartment, where they surrendered, and a gun was seized as evidence.

This is the weapon, a Taurus semi-automatic handgun, officers say they seized when the suspect was arrested. PPB provided image

PPB Robbery Division detectives arrested 19-year-old Luis Antonio Uchin-Lopez. Uchin-Lopez was booked into the Multnomah County Detention Center (MCDC) on September 21 at 9:52 a.m., on charges of Robbery in the First Degree, Unlawful Possession of a Firearm, Attempt to Elude By Vehicle, and Unauthorized Use of a Vehicle.

Facing numerous charges is 19-year-old Luis Antonio Uchin-Lopez. MCDC booking photo

At his arraignment, Uchin-Lopez learned he’d face all of the listed charges, including the Class A Felony charge of Robbery in the First Degree. With combined bail of $293,500, Uchin-Lopez is still lodged in the MCDC, in lieu of bail.

The other subjects, detained in the apartment, were not charged with crimes at that time.

© 2021 David F. Ashton ~ East Portland News™


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