Hermiston police early Tuesday arrested a car prowling suspect on charges of stealing purses from vehicles.
Night shift officers patrolling a neighborhood near Southwest 17th Street and Southwest Riverhill Drive noticed a suspicious vehicle leaving the area around 2:30 a.m., according to a written statement from Hermiston police. While catching up to the car, the officer saw a purse in the street and thought it had been tossed from the suspicious vehicle.
The officer stopped to collect the purse and another officer stopped the car. The investigation led to the arrest of one of the vehicle’s occupants: Frank Jesse Walker, 38, of Umatilla. Police suspected he stole the purse.
Police booked Walker into the Umatilla County Jail, Pendleton, on charges of unauthorized entry to a motor vehicle, first-degree theft, possession of methamphetamine and offensive littering.
Walker has been arrested 15 times and has been issued 27 citations, according to Hermiston police.
Police reported the case is an example of the recent uptick in thefts from vehicles. The department advised people to lock their cars, take their keys and remove valuables from vehicles to prevent these thefts.