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Sep-26-2007 05:56printcomments

Suspects Flee Stolen Car Leaving Shotgun Inside

The driver remains at large, and police say a stolen shotgun was recovered inside the stolen vehicle

Police search

(KEIZER, Ore.) - Keizer Police say a traffic stop led to a foot chase and search Tuesday afternoon just before 3:00 PM. Captain Jeff Kuhns with Keizer Police says it began when three suspects in a stolen Acura in a bank parking lot near the intersection of River Road North and Juedes Avenue North.

Kuhns says the Keizer officer who pulled the car over ran the plate before stopping it, the license plate indicated that the car had been reported as stolen to the Salem Police Department the previous day.

"When the officer stopped the vehicle there were three occupants inside. All three occupants immediately fled from the vehicle on foot. One individual, later identified as Ronald Lee Hassler Jr., was detained within moments of the traffic stop."

Kuhns says a responding officer saw him running about one block north of the traffic stop location. "This individual was not charged with any crimes associated to the stolen vehicle as it was later determined he was not the driver," Kuhns said He was taken into custody though, for a probation violation, and lodged in the Marion County Correctional Facility with no bail.

Several other Keizer officers responded to the vicinity of the traffic stop and established a perimeter. Kuhns says Keizer Police contacted the local school district because this incident was developing about three blocks from Cummings Elementary School, and a stolen shotgun had been recovered from inside the stolen vehicle.

"The shotgun was reported stolen to the Keizer Police Department this morning at about 10:30 AM. The weapon was reported to have been stolen from an unlocked vehicle that was parked in the 500 block of Lakefair Place North in Keizer. The theft of this gun occurred sometime overnight."

Kuhns says a second person fleeing the scene, a female, was located a few minutes after Ronald Hassler was detained. "This individual was identified and released without criminal charges, " Kuhns said.

Keizer Police officers maintained a perimeter and visible presence in the surrounding business and residential neighborhood until 5:25 PM. Kuhns says two Keizer Police K-9 teams were called to the scene to assist in the search for the driver and the other suspect who fled from the vehicle.

"An exhaustive search of the area was completed; however the driver was not located. The suspect driver is described as a white male adult, 5’9” to 5’11”, 175 pounds with light brown hair. He was last seen wearing a pair of light colored blue jeans, and a gray long sleeve shirt."

Anyone having information about this incident is asked to contact the Keizer Police Department at 503-390-3713.

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