April 4, 2014
Lieutenant Gregg Hastings
Public Information Officer
(503) 731-3020 ext 247
Oregon State Police (OSP), with the assistance of Sunnyside, Washington Police Department and a car dealership using an in-car tracking device, located a stolen vehicle and arrested a woman Thursday afternoon at an Interstate 84 rest area about 30 miles east of Baker City.
On April 3, 2014 at approximately 12:18 p.m. (Mountain Time), OSP Southern Command Center dispatch was contacted by Sunnyside Police Department regarding a stolen 2004 Chevrolet Impala believed operated by an adult female. A Sunnyside, Washington car dealership, from where the car was sold, was assisting the police in locating the stolen car by tracking it using an in-car tracking device indicating its last known location was eastbound on Interstate 84 east of Baker City.
OSP troopers from Baker City and Ontario were dispatched to be on the lookout for the stolen car. One of the troopers contacted the car dealership by phone and was told the car was stationary at the Weatherby Rest Area near milepost 335. The trooper asked that the car be remotely disabled through the tracking device to prevent he car from leaving the rest area and possibly being involved in a pursuit once it was back on the road.
At approximately 1:07 p.m. OSP troopers arrived in the rest area and saw a citizen was trying to help the woman jump start the car. The troopers detained the female driver identified as MELISSA N. ROMAN, age 29, from McAllen, Texas. She was accompanied by her three children ages 11, 9, and 4.
Subsequent to the investigation, ROMAN was arrested and lodged in the Baker County Jail for Unauthorized Use of a Vehicle. While in a jail holding cell, a Baker County corrections deputy saw via video surveillance ROMAN attempting to discard a glass pipe down a drain. The deputy interceded and seized the pipe that fielded tested positive for methamphetamine. She was also charged with Unlawful Possession of a Controlled Substance - Methamphetamine.
The three children were released to the custody of Department of Human Services. The woman was reportedly driving with the children back to Texas.
Questions regarding the stolen vehicle investigation should be directed to Sunnyside Police Department.
No photographs available for this release.
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