Lightning strikes twice; RS Portland recruiter catches another crook in the act
| 12th Marine Corps District | August 22, 2003
RECRUITING STATION PORTLAND, Calif. --
On April 7th, Sgt. Raymond Strike found himself in uniform chasing down a burglary suspect on foot while simultaneously updating Portland Police Department personnel on his position and direction of travel. The chase resulted in the arrest of two men suspected of burglarizing an apartment in the apartment complex where Strike lives. Less than one month later, Strike was at it again, this time helping Gresham police catch a car thief.
Strike said the day started out average enough. He spent the morning gathering the necessary documents for a new applicant to enlist in the Corps. Around 2 p.m., Strike said, he was in a parking lot adjacent to Recruiting Substation Gresham updating his NCOIC on his plan of attack for the rest of the day when he noticed something that didn't seem right.
Strike said he saw a woman standing in front of a Ford Taurus with the hood up. While this may seem normal at first, Strike also noticed she wasn't doing anything - just standing there, holding up the hood and looking around. He also noticed a second woman kneeling behind her and facing a vehicle parked nose-to nose with the first woman's car.
After watching for a few moments from his government-owned vehicle, Strike said the women noticed he was looking at them. They quickly got into the Taurus and drove away - with Strike following closely.
"They definitely knew I was following them," said Strike. "As soon as they pulled out of the parking lot, they took off." Mirroring his actions from the previous month, Strike pursued the vehicle, simultaneously dialing the number to the local police department on his government cell phone.
Quickly realizing they weren't going to lose Strike in a car chase the two female suspects pulled into a nearby church parking lot, abandoned the vehicle and fled on foot through the church yard.
Thinking quickly, Strike pulled his vehicle back onto the road and around to the other side of the church, hoping to cut off the suspects' escape. On the other side, still updating the Gresham PD dispatch on the situation as it unfolded, Strike spotted the suspects trying to make their getaway through a residential area. Strike pulled his vehicle to the side of the road, ready for a foot chase and exited his vehicle.
"As soon as (the suspect allegedly responsible for stealing the license plates) saw my uniform, she stopped," said Strike.