Stolen truck suspect involved in Bend hit-and-run captured in CRR

A Bend man was arrested Wednesday after police say he stole a truck, crashed into another vehicle and led authorities on a short chase that ended in Crooked River Ranch.

The incident started around 8:43 a.m. when someone called 911 to report their truck was stolen from 908 NE 4th St. in Bend, said Lt. Juli McConkey.

A few minutes later, officers responded to a reported hit and run at the intersection of NE 5th and Greenwood Ave. where witnesses say the truck, a gray Toyota Tacoma, t-boned another car and took off.

The victim of the hit and run suffered minor injuries.

Because the stolen truck owner’s phone was still in the vehicle, an officer was able to track the truck in real time and give updates to the Deschutes County Sheriff’s Office, Oregon State Police and Redmond Police.

Around 9:15, a DCSO deputy in an unmarked vehicle saw the truck heading north on Highway 97 near SW Veterans Way in Redmond.

The deputy followed the truck and provided updated locations for law enforcement officers involved, McConkey said.

A Redmond Police officer tried to stop the truck in the area of SW 5th St. and SW Glacier Ave.

The driver refused to stop and continued driving, leading law enforcement on a short pursuit. The pursuit was quickly discontinued due to concerns for community safety, McConkey said.

Deputies then saw the truck driving north on Highway 97 near NE Oneil Hwy.

They tried to stop the truck, but the driver again refused to stop leading to a second short pursuit. The pursuit was again discontinued.

Bend Police Officers and Deschutes County Sheriff’s Office Deputies tracked the stolen truck and suspect into Crooked River Ranch.

The suspect, later identified as 24-year-old Dakota Willis, abandoned the truck near the golf course, and he was found a short distance away from the truck.

Willis was taken into custody at 9:46 a.m., without incident.

The truck, with moderate front-end damage, was returned to the victim.

Willis was booked on multiple charges from multiple agencies including first-degree theft, unauthorized use of a vehicle, hit and run, drunk driving, reckless driving and criminal mischief.

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