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Pendleton Man Arrested in Relation to Stolen Vehicles From Dealerships in Wyoming and Hermiston, Oregon
Lieutenant Gregg Hastings
Public Information Officer
(503) 731-3020 ext. 247

Photograph link valid 30 days - Source: Umatilla County Sheriff's Office
A near week-long investigation led by Oregon State Police (OSP) troopers from the Pendleton and Hermiston offices led to the arrest Monday night in Pendleton of a suspect sought in connection with two vehicles stolen from dealerships in Wyoming and Hermiston, Oregon.
JOHNNY LEE REDDING, age 23, from Pendleton, was arrested May 7, 2012 at approximately 11:16 p.m. by OSP troopers and Pendleton police in the 200 block of SW 28th Drive in Pendleton. REDDING was lodged in the Umatilla County Jail on the following charges:
  • Unauthorized Use of a Motor Vehicle (2 counts)
  • Felony Attempt to Elude in a Vehicle
  • Reckless Driving
  • Criminal Mischief in the First Degree
"Redding's arrest combined the creative use of technology, persistent investigative work, and knocking on doors and talking to a lot of people to check anywhere possible until he was found," said OSP Sergeant Sterling Hall.
On May 2, 2012 at approximately 12:30 a.m. an OSP trooper attempted to stop a 2011 Ford F150 pickup displaying only a temporary permit westbound on Interstate 84 near milepost 202 for a traffic violation. The pickup fled at a high rate of speed and the trooper eventually lost sight of the pickup after the lights turned off when it drove into a field.
At approximately 9:45 a.m. an OSP sergeant found the pickup abandoned with front end damage in the vicinity of where it was last seen about a quarter mile west of Highway 395 near Feedville Road. Initial check in LEDS/NCIC computer systems indicated it was not stolen. Using an in-car mobile data terminal computer, an OSP trooper did a Google search on the pickup's vehicle identification number and learned it was associated with a car dealership in Rock Springs, Wyoming. Thedealership was contacted and unaware it had been taken from their lot, so they contacted the local police department and filed a stolen vehicle report. REDDING was identified as a suspect in the elude and stolen vehicle incidents.
OSP also learned Stanfield Police Department recovered a stolen Ford F150 pickup at the Pilot fuel station.  The pickup was taken following a test drive from a Hermiston-area Ford dealership after it was returned to the car lot and then stolen during the night when the business was closed. REDDINGwas identified as the suspect in the Stanfield police investigation.
A third vehicle associated with REDDING, a 2011 Chevrolet Impala with no license plates, was located near where he was arrested. Subsequent investigation also determined the car was taken from an area dealership and REDDING is a suspect in a burglary investigated by Umatilla County Sheriff's Office. Additional charges pending.