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Idaho Bank Robbery Suspect Arrested Following Elude south of Eugene
04/17/2009
Lieutenant Mike Bloom
Oregon State Police - Springfield
Office: (541) 726-2536

Photograph links valid for 30 days - Source: Oregon State Police
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Oregon State Police troopers arrested a man wanted on a bank robbery warrant out of the Pocatello, Idaho area Friday afternoon south of Cottage Grove, Oregon following an attempt to elude on Interstate 5. The man's attempt to flee ended after police deployed spike strips followed by a tactical vehicle intervention technique to get the car stopped.
 
On April 17, 2009 after 12 noon, Oregon State Police (OSP) received a tip from the US Marshal Service Oregon Fugitive Task Force that a wanted Idaho bank robbery suspect considered armed and dangerous was believed to be southbound on Interstate 5 in the Albany area driving a two-tone brown 1982 Ford Thunderbird. OSP Trooper Ryan Hockema spotted the car southbound in the Eugene area near milepost 191 and followed it until two more troopers could join him to attempt to stop the car.
 
At approximately 1:00 p.m. near milepost 186 the OSP troopers attempted to stop the car but the driver failed to yield, speeding up to 90 mph southbound. Other OSP Patrol and Fish & Wildlife troopers, Lane County sheriff deputies, and Cottage Grove police officers moved into position to help.
 
As the driver continued his attempt to elude the troopers, OSP was notified by an area 9-1-1 center that the driver called in to demand the troopers back off or he would start shooting at them. The troopers did back off to a reported distance estimated at approximately 1/4 mile as they kept the recklessly driven car in sight.
 
North of Cottage Grove, Lane County deputies unsuccessfully attempted to deploy spike strips. South of Cottage Grove, officers from Cottage Grove Police Department did successfully deploy spike strips near milepost 172 hitting 3 of the car's four tires causing the driver to have to start slowing.
 
As the car slowed to below 30 mph, OSP Sergeant Ron Martin deployed a tactical vehicle intervention technique causing the car spin and come to a stop. Troopers pinned the car between patrol vehicles and took the driver into custody without further incident.
 
Troopers confirmed the driver was the wanted suspect identified as MELVIN HEBDON, age 32. He had an outstanding felony Bank Robbery warrant out of Bannock County, Idaho with bail listed at $500,000.
 
HEBDON was lodged in the Lane County Jail on the following charges:
  • Fugitive From Justice
  • Felony Attempt to Elude in a Vehicle
  • Reckless Driving
  • Recklessly Endangering Another Person
 
Troopers did not find a firearm in the car. Investigators from the FBI and Pocatello, Idaho area will be continuing their investigation upon arrival on Saturday. OSP has no further information to release regarding the Idaho bank robbery investigation.