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Investigation Seeks to ID Late Night Tree Cutters in Area of Highway 26 east of Sandy
02/11/2010
Lieutenant Gregg Hastings
Public Information Officer
(503) 731-3020 ext. 247

Photograph links valid for 30 days - Source: Oregon State Police
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Oregon State Police and Clackamas County Sheriff’s Office is asking for the public’s help to identify the person(s) responsible for cutting trees along Highway 26 in the Cherryville area east of Sandy, causing the trees to either fall onto the highway or onto power lines.  During the last two weeks troopers and deputies have responded to four separate incidents, one of which resulting in a non-injury crash when a vehicle ran into one of the downed trees.
 
The incidents have been happening late at night, approximately 11:00 p.m., along the south side of Highway 26 near Baty Road and E. Terra Fern Drive about six miles east of Sandy.  The latest incident happened February 7, 2009 at about 11:00 p.m. when an eastbound vehicle hit a fallen tree that appears to have been purposely cut to block the highway.  In a second incident about five trees were cut along E. Terra Fern Drive and fell onto power lines.
 
Each investigation indicates the trees are being cut using chainsaws and axes.  None of the trees were taken by the person(s) responsible for cutting them.
 
What is starting out as a case of criminal mischief could quickly escalate into a very serious crime if someone is injured or killed because a vehicle collided with an intentionally downed tree onto a highway.
 
Anyone with information regarding this investigation is asked contact OSP Northern Command Center dispatch at 800-452-7888 or Clackamas County Sheriff’s Office.
 
ODOT, Sandy Fire Department, and PGE have responded to these incidents to assist with clean up and some power outages reported by area residents.