PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — A couple relocating from Arizona to Portland has been reunited with their belongings after the U-Haul truck and trailer they were moving with, which had been stolen out of a Troutdale hotel parking lot, were found in Gresham as a result of an alert resident, according to authorities.
Multnomah County Sheriff’s Office said the neighbor, who had seen a social media post about the stolen vehicles, noticed a U-Haul trailer outside of a garage at a Gresham apartment building Thursday evening and called law enforcement to report it around 8:30 p.m.
The caller said he “saw a man near the trailer, possibly in the act of unloading items into the garage,” according to MCSO.
When Deputies with the Multnomah County Sheriff’s Office and Gresham Police Officers followed up on the call, they found the stolen trailer along with the couple’s belongings and the alleged suspect.
Upon locating the 49-year-old man, Joseph Damon Patterson was brought into custody.
Within the detached garage, law enforcement located several of the couple’s stolen items along with the silver SUV, seen driven by the suspect in surveillance video of the crime.
According to MCSO, Patterson has now been charged with aggravated theft in the first degree. He was reportedly transported to the Multnomah County Detention Center late Thursday night.
After deputies issued a search warrant for Patterson’s car, police found more stolen items, in addition to locating a handgun.
However, as law enforcement was locating the contraband, they said they were notified that Patterson had just been released from jail and was currently on his way to reclaim the silver SUV. Upon arrival, Patterson was re-arrested on a charge of felon in possession of a firearm, authorities said.
Patterson was then booked again at 6 a.m. Friday. According to law enforcement, he is still currently in custody. It’s unclear if he has an attorney.
The other U-Haul truck containing more of the couple’s items was located near NE 18th Ct. and NE Kane Dr. in Gresham later Friday morning.
“The couple reported being ‘thrilled’ and said the majority of their belongings were found,” MCSO said. “They stated they are very appreciative of the public’s care and attention to their case.”
Although the incident is still under investigation and more charges may be filed in the future, MCSO also passed along their gratitude for the public’s help in a release Friday.
“We want to thank the public for their vigilance and the media for bringing attention to this crime,” The agency stated. “We also want to acknowledge the Gresham Police Department for their assistance.”