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Mar-29-2008 16:00printcomments

Alleged Metal Thieves Caught With Pocketfuls of Railroad Spikes

Three arrested for removing rail road spikes from Portland Western Railroad line.

Railroad tracks
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(LAKE OSWEGO, Oregon) - Police arrested two adults and a juvenile Friday evening at about 7:00 PM for removing rail spikes from the Portland Western rail road near SW Boones Ferry Road and Jean Way in Lake Oswego.

Officer Matt Gill of the Lake Oswego Police Department says he saw three people on the tracks and stopped to see what they were doing.

One reportedly carried a long pry bar and another had pockets bulging with rail spikes. Officer Gill says he then discovered they had removed over 100 spikes from the ties as well other metal. Gill believes the motive was financial and the three intended to sell the spikes as scrap metal.

This is another chapter in a growing book on Oregon's public safety being eroded by methamphetamine users who become desperate and seriously directed in dismantling anything from railroads to bridges, signs, and even fences.

In fact, learned yesterday that police in southern Arizona are being contracted by the federal government to guard watch metal fence supplies that are staged along the border for constructing a new border fence. While we work to build a fence to keep illegal immigrants out, meth users are stealing the actual fence.

Those arrested were 21-year old Mark Mercer, an unemployed man living at 5750 Charles Circle in Lake Oswego, 20-year old Russel McMurray, an unemployed man living at 4745 Oakridge Road in lake Oswego, and 17-year old Evan Angel, a student from Lake Oswego.

All three were charged by Lake Oswego Police with First Degree Theft, First Degree Criminal Mischief, and First Degree Criminal Trespass.

Mercer and McMurry were lodged in Clackamas County Jail, Angel was lodged at the Clackamas County Juvenile Reception and Assessment Center.

A railroad spokesman told police it will cost about $1,500.00 to repair the damage to the line.

Comments Leave a comment on this story.

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Lucas February 23, 2009 12:23 pm (Pacific time)

Angel is a very violent person who is currently hitting my head.

angel February 13, 2009 10:28 pm (Pacific time)

all of you suck

thmsmgnm August 6, 2008 9:45 am (Pacific time)

These guys should do hard time for this. It is extremely dangerous and can lead to many deaths if it lead to a train derailment. Trains carry some of the most hazardous and volitile chemicals in our country. There are chemicals being transported by train (historically safer than truck transport)that if spilled during a derailment could kill many near the tracks and permanently injure others farther away.

Anonymous March 30, 2008 9:12 pm (Pacific time)

Logical consequence: The 17-year old should spend his summer vacation driving in railroad spikes by hand...

CB March 30, 2008 6:04 pm (Pacific time)

What if they would have caused a derailment and someone was killed. There is way more involved here than petty theft

JB March 29, 2008 5:25 pm (Pacific time)

These morons work harder lugging around a 100 railroad spikes than if they would just get a min wage job.

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