West Linn couple’s dog found, stolen vehicle still missing

Stolen dog and Jeep in West Linn

Ashley Rhea said her dog, Pepper, was inside her 2017 Jeep Cherokee when it was stolen in West Linn on Jan. 4, 2022. Photo courtesy Ashley Rhea

PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) – The West Linn Police Department said two residents in Southeast Portland found a dog Tuesday evening that had been inside a vehicle stolen in West Linn earlier that day.

The dog and stolen vehicle belong to Ashley and Jerry Rhea.

Ashley Rhea said she was dropping her youngest daughter off at her in-laws’ home on Southslope Way in West Linn at around 8:40 a.m. She only planned to be inside the home for a few minutes and left her 2017 dark blue Jeep Grand Cherokee running in the driveway. 

She ended up spending about 10 to 15 minutes inside and that was enough time for someone to get in the car and drive away. 

“I ran as fast as I could back into their house and screamed out, ‘My car’s gone!’ Ashley said. 

She said she called police immediately and the West Linn Police Department responded quickly. 

Using a neighbor’s security camera, Ashley said police saw an image of another vehicle pulling up behind hers. She said police believe someone got out of that vehicle and into hers and drove away. 

The worst part is, they took the Rhea family’s dog with them. 

Ashley was very concerned about her dog, Pepper, who’s a pit bull and husky mix.

“She’s part of the family, so to tell our girls that we don’t know where she is, is really difficult,” Ashley said. 

Ashley and her husband Jerry were hoping someone would take her to a shelter where they could scan the dog’s microchip or that they would drop her off in the neighborhood she was stolen from.

“The car can be replaced, we would really love to have Pepper back home,” Ashley said when she spoke to KOIN News Tuesday afternoon. 

Police said the people who found Pepper roaming in Southeast Portland called the number on the dog’s collar and the dog was reunited with her family. West Linn and Portland police officers confirmed Pepper was not injured and was in good health.

Police are still searching for the stolen 2017 Jeep Grand Cherokee with Oregon license plate 417 KGE.

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