Stolen vehicle missions track down guns, wanted felons

Find out how the concerted efforts of the Portland Police Bureau in outer East Portland to apprehend car thieves have led to many arrests, and guns confiscated …

Throughout our northern outer East Portland neighborhoods, and in to Gresham, police officers focus on finding and stopping stolen vehicles, and arresting the drivers.

Story and photos by David F. Ashton

Our streets were made safer by the Portland Police Bureau’s (PPB) East Precinct Stolen Vehicle Operation (SVO) this week. Not only were drivers of stolen cars apprehended, but also illegally-held guns were also taken from suspects during the incidents.

August 12
Stolen Vehicle Operation busts 14 car thieves

Officers from several partnering agencies team up to track down stolen vehicles and the people in them. PPB image

On Saturday, August 12, the East Precinct SVO team turned up the heat on car thieves inn partnership with Gresham Police, Port of Portland Police, and Multnomah County Parole & Probation. A Deputy District Attorney from the Multnomah County D.A.’s Office was Office. And the result was amazing.

This is one of several suspects arrested during the mission. PPB image

“During the day, eleven stolen vehicles were recovered, and fourteen individuals were arrested, associated with the stolen vehicles, or on outstanding warrants,” a PPB spokesperson reported.

Additionally, twelve vehicles were towed – while firearm, two replica guns, and a TASER were seized.

Here’s weapons that will no longer be available for criminals to use. PPB image

For the second mission in a row, members of the East Precinct Neighborhood Response Team (NRT) were provided with community-sourced information through the Facebook group PDX Stolen Cars, which they continue to use during the SVO mission

August 13
Stolen vehicle mission ends in all-night standoff

From the Hazelwood neighborhood, eastward through the Parkrose, Argay Terrace and Wilkes neighborhoods, officers scramble to stop a wildly-driven car.

Very early Sunday morning, August 13, 12:08 a.m., an officer assigned to the PPB East Precinct stolen vehicle operation attempted to stop a car that was driving recklessly in the area of NE Glisan Street and 99th Avenue in the Hazelwood neighborhood. The driver of the car eluded the officer, who did not pursue. However, “Air 2”, the PPB’s aerial observation unit in on the mission quickly spotted and followed the fleeing car from overhead.

Recklessly speeding through outer East Portland, the driver often turned off his lights, ran red lights, and drove the wrong way on NE Weidler Street through the Gateway District – even though there was no police cruiser on his tail. The driver barreled on eastward, through Gresham and almost to Troutdale, before turning back west towards Portland.

Portland Police SERT officers are called to assist, after the reckless vehicle is stopped.

An officer used spike strips way out on NE Sandy Boulevard and 223rd Avenue, but the car continued to flee westward. Officers caught up to the suspect car again along NE Glisan Street near 165th Avenue, where an officer used the “pursuit intervention technique” to spin the car out, while other patrol cars boxed it in.

With the car finally stopped, officers radioed that the suspect had put a gun to his head. Officers backed away, and tried to start talking with the suspect – who then threatened to shoot the police while continuing to make suicidal statements. At this point, the decision was made to call in the Special Emergency Reaction Team (SERT) and the Crisis Negotiation Team (CNT).

At dawn, Gresham Police Department and PPB officers finally convince the armed suspect to give up. He’s taken away in this ambulance.

At 5:32 a.m., the suspect was eventually taken into custody and taken to a local hospital for evaluation.

Later that day, the man was identified as 41 year-old Ryan Douglas Vanhorn. Vanhorn was booked into the Multnomah County Detention Center (MCDC) at 3:45 p.m. that afternoon, on an outstanding Felony warrant. In addition to the warrant, Vanhorn was

An officer examines the smashed and stolen Audi involved in this incident.

also charged with three Felony stolen vehicle charges – as well as 14 Misdemeanors, including Reckless Driving and Recklessly Endangering Another Person. Currently, Vanhorn is still behind bars in the MCDC on the no-bail Felony warrant, and on $15,000 bail on a Felony Unauthorized Use of a Motor Vehicle charge.

If you have information helpful to police in this case, email it to Gresham Police (they’re the investigating agency) at – and let them know the information concerns Incident No. PG23-32620.

August 16
SVO arrests more car thieves, recovers stolen vehicles

In the East Precinct meeting room, PPB officers are briefed on the day’s SVO mission, along with partners from Gresham Police, the Port of Portland Police, and Multnomah County Parole & Probation, and the Multnomah County D.A.’s Office. PPB image

On August 16, members of the East Precinct SVO continued their string of successful arrests, again partnering with area law enforcement agencies.

Officers walk another suspected car thief out of an apartment complex, wearing handcuffs. PPB image

Another stolen vehicle is recovered, in the parking lot of this Popeye’s Restaurant. PPB image

In total, 13 stolen vehicles were recovered, 11 individuals were arrested, and 6 arrest warrants were serviced. Officers towed 11 vehicles and seized two firearms.

This seized firearm was loaded! PPB image

On this day, members of East Precinct’s NRT used information from PDX Stolen Cars to recover one occupied and two unoccupied stolen vehicles.

August 16
Teens arrested with stolen car in Mill Park

The day’s not over for East Precinct SVO officers; they locate another stolen car, not far from their office.

As the sun was setting on August 16, some of the East Precinct SVO were continue to watch for stolen vehicles. When they spotted a reported-stolen silver Hyundai Sonata near Mall 205 – the driver spotted the officers, and took off.

“Officers were trying to get the stolen car to stop,” PPB Public Information Officer Lt. Nathan Sheppard told East Portland News.

The back of this Hyundai is badly damaged in the wreck and must be towed away.

But instead of stopping the vehicle sped away. “On SE Market Street, just east of 96th Avenue, the car crashed, and the occupants ran,” Lt. Sheppard continued.

The front end of this stolen Hyundai Sonata, here being towed away in front of Portland Adventist Academy, is wreckage.

At least two teen boys sprinted away from the spot where the stolen car smashed into a dark brown Hyundai Elantra.

At 7:39 p.m., officers radioed for assistance; soon 11 officers were in the area. “Because the occupants of the stolen car ran, officers set up a perimeter, and the suspects were soon taken into custody,” Lt. Sheppard confirmed.

It’s not known how these two teens are involved, but they left the scene of the crash in the back of a police cruiser.

Because the occupants were “under age”, the names of those charged have not been released. If you have information for the police about this incident, email it to, and add to it that your information is about Case No. 23-215461.

© 2023 David F. Ashton ~ East Portland News™


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